Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has insisted there was no conspiracy behind the decision to swap some of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s mechanics at the start of the season.
Hamilton stirred up the issue ahead of the Abu Dhabi weekend when he suggested that the truth of the mechanic swap would make an "interesting read" when he writes what really happened after his F1 career has finished.
But Wolff has responded to Hamilton’s suggestions of anything strange going on, and said the team shuffle was part of a natural process – and there are aspects of it that he too could reveal in the future.
“You know it’s always dangerous because there is one statement that is being picked out from a press conference between the two of them and, as I said before, I find it very remarkable how they’ve managed the relationship between the two of them for the benefit of the team, taking into consideration that it must be very intense and very high pressure for them,” said Wolff, in response to Hamilton’s remarks.
“So that one comment was taken out and it is clear that if you change a crew that is directly involved with a drivers, such as mechanics or a number one, that a driver constantly looks at when he’s pulling out of the garage, it can have a psychological effect.
"We acknowledged that and it was part of our thinking when we shuffled it around. But as a matter of fact we are 1,500 people in Brixworth and Brackley and it’s about developing personnel.
"Somebody who was working on one corner of the car today as a mechanic might be a number one next year, might be a chief mechanic afterwards and maybe has even more potential within the organisation.
“In a similar way we have done all through the organisation we are not keeping it static. It’s a dynamic structure and the same happens in the garage.
"This is a fact. I appreciate the effect on the singular driver and it was taken into consideration and maybe I’ll write a book in 10 years and we’ll put some things in there.”
Wolff added that while it was important to provide his drivers with all the support they needed, such efforts could not be at the expense of the wider team.
“In terms of keeping the performance up in the team, you need to consider what your high-performers need; what kind of environment they need, what kind of framework they need in order to perform best. And we’ve considered that.
“There is not just one position like the chief mechanic that is important for the performance of the team and the drivers, but we have to take decisions for many, many hundreds of people and develop them.
"It is our duty and obligation towards these 1500 people and the great brand to take the right decisions and not one single individual – although taking into mind what is important for the driver itself.
“What you are seeing here on the race track is the tip of the iceberg. And by the sheer nature there is a large block underneath that brings performance and has brought the team to where we are today.
"And part of that is to have the most effective organisation. Not only today but also tomorrow – and that is just part of the normal procedure.”