Reduced Mercedes F1 team orders excite Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg has described as ‘great’ Mercedes’ decision to give him and world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton more freedom to race in 2016.

Motorsport boss Toto Wolff declared on Friday that the team orders in place since 2013 will be relaxed this year as “we have got more comfortable in working with each other”.

Despite a few flashpoints in their title fights over the past couple of seasons, Rosberg and Hamilton have combined for 32 wins and 36 pole positions out of 38 grand prix weekends.

Reacting to the news, the German is clearly happy with the greater strategy flexibility.

“I think it’s great!” Rosberg rejoiced while speaking at Mercedes’ kick off event in Stuttgart. “Thanks Toto! We have raced for three years now, it’s been tough, up and down, but we have had the most success that any team has ever been and the two of us have been involved in that.

“All in all, it’s been a pretty good time. It works well, I have a great relationship with the team. I look forward to battle with Lewis again. It will be exciting to try and beat him. I look forward to the season.”

Since Hamilton joined Rosberg in 2013, Mercedes has had a policy of running both drivers on fairly similar race strategies with the lead car being given priority. However, the Briton questioned that rule over the final races of the 2015 campaign when he asked the team to devise an alternative strategy to overhaul Rosberg.

Worried about the growing rift between his drivers, Wolff has warned them that Mercedes would consider reviewing its line-up if the rivalry escalated further. Asked about the threat, the triple world champion is confident the break up line will not be crossed.

“I don’t think is going to be the case,” Hamilton said. “Me and Nico have delivered. Nico has been here for many, many years. We have both delivered each time we have got in the car. I don’t think it will be an issue they have to face.”

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