Mercedes boss says re­lax­ing team or­ders is not a risk

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.”

Ros­berg and Hamil­ton will have more free­dom dur­ing races

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