'Fierce rivalry' between team mates less beneficial than harmony - Wolff

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - Japanese Grand Prix
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff isn't sure a cut throat rivalry between team mates is a benefit to a team after observing the effects of inner-team harmony last year.

The hard-line and fierce rivalry which governed the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the past was often hailed by Wolff as a good recipe for success despite the difficult off-track psychological management it required.

In stark contrast to the two drivers' cold and stressed lack of affinity, Hamilton enjoyed a balanced and friendly working relationship in 2017 with new recruit Valtteri Bottas, and Wolff has watched the team's overall atmosphere improve as a consequence.

"In the past I always believed that a very fierce rivalry between teammates would be good for the team because they would be pushing each other," Wolff told Motorsport.com.

"I think the lesson I learned is that is probably not true - I think you need two teammates that perform at a high level that keep pushing each other in the car, but the rivalry shouldn’t spill over into controversy outside of the car."

Wolff insists the positive vibe inside the Silver Arrows team also proved beneficial when dealing with Mercedes' W08 'diva car'.

"The mindset and the relationship between the two made us stronger, gave an open and honest environment, and fundamentally our very fast, difficult car we got it into a good place also because the two worked so well together.

"The dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis made us develop the car in a very efficient way and made us win the two championships, so not for one second do I regret where we are today."

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