Former world champion Damon Hill believes Mercedes would be making a huge mistake should the team impose team orders on its drivers.
On the back of another on-track clash between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in Austria last Sunday, which saw the former defeated by the latter on the last lap of the race and Mercedes deprived of a one-two finish, team orders have been put on the table by motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
Because Rosberg showed determination in defending his lead over his team mate through track positioning rather than through sheer pace, Damon Hill believes applying team orders could prove useless.
"Nico has to put up a defense, otherwise he is going to be the guy who never gets to the front of the queue," said the 1996 world champion to the British media.
"He is showing he is going to fight, he is showing Lewis he is prepared to be ruthless. That is a measure of how badly he wants to win.
"He knows this is his big chance and he wants to win that championship. The only problem he has is that Lewis is clearly quicker – when you get a straight fight, Lewis beats him."
Rosberg and Hamilton's latest antics served as a reminder that the pair collided in spectacular fashion in Spain earlier this season. Despite their fierce battle and rivalry, and the interests at stake, Mercedes have always let the pair race fair and square.
Any attempt to reign in the duo's enthusiasm would not be received well by Formula 1 fans worldwide.
"The gloves are off between the drivers. I think [Mercedes] would be shot if they tried to stop them racing. The fans would rebel against that idea.
"It would be a massive PR shot in the foot for Mercedes if they imposed team orders. The best thing they could do is say: ‘We can’t control our drivers, so we are just going to have to suck it up and leave it to the stewards.’
"It’s an interesting part of our sport watching teams trying to control these wayward children, these badly behaved kids.
"It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of F1 because they won’t succeed… It’s just not going to work. They should emphasise their impartiality as much as possible and just let them race."