Equal opportunity approach challenging but right - Wolff

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Toto Wolff believes that providing equal status to two world class drivers has been a challenging task for Mercedes, but it has been well worth it.

Speaking in Kuala Lumpur yesterday at the headquarters of sponsor and partner Petronas, where Mercedes celebrated its driver and team world titles, Wolff paid tribute to the German manufacturer's efforts in F1.

"As a group, we have now won World Championships with both of our drivers - something that was last achieved in the 1980s by McLaren with Senna and Prost.

"That kind of comparison makes a big statement about the hard work put into achieving these results by every single person at Brackley, Brixworth, Stuttgart and here in Kuala Lumpur - including, of course, both of our race drivers."

While managing and balancing its magic duo of drivers hasn't always been clear sailing for Mercedes, Wolff says it's approach has been the right one.
"When we first brought Lewis and Nico together as our driver pairing back in 2013, we made it clear that there would be no number one status for either of them - and they didn't want that either.

"We knew we had two world class talents on our hands and that giving them equal opportunity to fulfill their potential would bring the best out of them.

"At the same time, we knew that this approach would sometimes give us some tough moments to deal with.  It's something we took into account and accepted as a challenge worth tackling.

"When you see the results we've had together, it's clear that this is the right approach. One of the keys to our success has been that they constantly push each other - and that in turn kept raising the bar even higher.

"They are both born fighters and the intense competition has been good for them, for the team and for the sport."

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