Mercedes boss says relaxing team orders is not a risk
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be free to race without restriction this year after relaxing team orders between the pair.
Last season Hamilton and Rosberg were allowed to race, but with limitations as to how far their strategies could differ. The rules proved frustrating for Hamilton in particular, who bemoaned a lack of strategy during the final run-in.
This year both drivers will be free to make strategic calls during the races, aided by tighter restrictions on pit-to-car communication.
When asked if allowing each driver more freedom to determine their race on track and off it was a risk that could potentially open the team to attack from Ferrari, Wolff replied: “No, I don’t think so. We are reducing the rules because we have got more comfortable in working with each other. There is great respect among the individuals. I don’t feel it will be different than it has been in the last years.
“The [radio] regulations help us because there is much less engineering input. There is less guidance in terms of strategy, tyre optimisation and how to drive the car so it is much more down to them to drive the car anyway. That’s very good for the sport. It puts more pressure on and brings in additional new effort for the drivers.”