Rosberg deal ensures two number one drivers - Wolff

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Nico Rosberg's new contract with Mercedes ensures the team retains "two number one drivers", according to Toto Wolff.

Mercedes confirmed Rosberg had signed a two-year contract extension on Friday morning, keeping him at the team until the end of the 2018 season. With Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton having had a number of controversial clashes this season, Wolff admits such a situation is likely to occur again but says it is a price Mercedes is willing to pay.

“No, I’m never confident that we are on top of the issues," Wolff told Sky Sports. "It’s rock and roll - or they rock the boat - but we are conscious in that decision.

"We know that sometimes it can be a more bumpy road having two number one drivers in the car that keep pushing each other. It raises the performance of the car but it gives those moments where it’s about managing a difficult situation, so we are conscious about that.”

And Wolff says he cannot see a situation where Mercedes will ever prioritise one driver over the other.

“No it was always very clear with the two of them that this is the philosophy that we will follow of having absolute equal material and equal opportunity. I don’t see this happening, I hope it goes on until the end. It’s exciting for us, it’s exciting for the fans. It might make me grow some grey hair but up to now I’m doing OK!”

Explaining when Rosberg's contract was actually signed, Wolff said the negotiations had been relatively simple as both parties were happy to continue.

“It was never in doubt that we wanted to stay with Nico and I guess it was of interest to him to stay in the best current car. So we had the right spirit and the right momentum in those discussions but the final signature came last night.”

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