Mercedes says fixed strategies lesser of two evils

Mercedes says criticisms about its stance on strategy need to be put in context, because it could have chosen to go down the route of having number one and number two drivers instead.

The Brackley-based team came under fire from fans after the Brazilian Grand Prix over its policy of not letting Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take strategy gambles in their bid for victory.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said he sympathised with fans who feel short-changed by the situation, but said it would be unacceptable for his team to risk internal friction by having sides of the garage at war.

"As a fan I can understand that absolutely, but there are various escalations," explained Wolff.

"We could have done it like some teams have in the past of having a clear number one and a clear number two, and the number two wouldn't come close to the other one. So we have changed that.

"Sometimes it is difficult for us to manage letting the two fight each other and now you can even say, let's take it one step further and let the strategists play against each other. But this is not where we want to go to.

"Controversy within the team is detrimental and we have kept the team together, not only the drivers, but also the travelling team in Brackley and Brixworth. Because the team comes first."

No one-off test

With the constructors' championship won, and Rosberg's second place in the drivers' championship sealed, Mercedes has achieved the maximum it can this season.

That has prompted suggestions that there would be nothing to lose in trialling a one-off strategy free-for-all in the Abu Dhabi finale.

But Wolff is not convinced, and thinks such an action would ultimately prove futile – because the team puts both drivers on the quickest strategy anyway.

"If you could say we are just giving it a try, and you in the car can decide the strategy, I bet none of them would want to do that," he said. "They clearly know what the result would be."

He added: "But I had an interesting question beforehand and I need to think about it: what if this was the title decider?

"We would never want to interfere into a very important result about who comes first and second. Never.

"So, maybe it is worth a thought about what would happen if this would be such a crucial race, and how would we tackle that? And I haven't got an answer to that."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Brazilian GP
Track Interlagos
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news