Free rein or team orders, Wolff still has his doubts

Italian GP winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with third placed Valtteri Bottas
© XPB 

After five consecutive drivers and constructors' titles, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff still doesn't know if a team should allow its drivers to race each other or choose a clear number one.

Mercedes' recent dominant period in F1 saw Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg involved in an epic inner team battle for three seasons that proved difficult to manage for Wolff.

But imposing team orders on Valtteri Bottas in 2018 to help Hamilton secure his fifth crown was equally conflicting for the Austrian who still has his doubts about the right team policy to enforce.

"You can disagree on this and I do not know what works best", Wolff said in an interview with Dutch magazine Formule 1.

"Look at the dominant years of Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and us and it seems that always one driver was the unofficial number one.

"On the other hand, it may be an advantage to have two drivers who chase each other a lot, because as a team you might develop faster and perform better."

Giving drivers a free rein can lead to drawbacks however as Wolff experienced first hand with the explosive Hamilton/Rosberg duo.

"It can then become rotten between the drivers, and if that spills over to the engineers it can also affect the team," he added.

"So I don't know what is the best," Wolff concludes.

"Ideally, however, you should have two drivers who can find each other and compete with each other on the track, but limit it to the track."

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