- Australian GP - Mercedes
Mercedes drivers free to race - Wolff
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are free to race after sitting down with his drivers and discussing various scenarios and outcomes.
Mercedes looks capable of running away with the Australian Grand Prix after showing impressive long-run pace during Friday practice, meaning a two-way battle could emerge between the two drivers. But Wolff has full confidence Hamilton and Rosberg will still act in the interests of Mercedes after they sat down with the team and discussed how to manage different situations.
"They are completely free to race because this is why we are here," Wolff said. "You need to establish rules because if you have somebody in the car who doesn't understand the concept maybe or is just looking at himself, but I don't think this is the case with Lewis and Nico. We've had some discussions about it, we've put it down, but I don't think this is going to be an issue or a problem.
"I think it's very difficult to establish parameters. We've heard that in the past whoever has the first corner stays in front and we are not doing this. We had a long discussion with Paddy and the boys and it was a very good discussion, everybody gave his opinion how to proceed. We defined that, even if it's difficult to comprehend, where we came from as a team, our main competitors are the other teams. We need to make sure that as a team we are running strongly. Then it is to be decided case by case what is going on in the cars. It could go one race in one direction and another race in the other direction, but I think all situations we have discussed and found a solution which is acceptable to Nico, Lewis and the team."
At the Malaysian Grand Prix last year, Rosberg was told not to attempt a pass on Hamilton because of concerns about running low on fuel. However, Rosberg is happy with the situation ahead of this weekend's race.
"The main thing is to really have a clear picture of what's going on, but I can already tell you now there will be battles between Lewis and I," he said. "That's important for the TV, for everybody and for the team. That's exciting, that's racing, that's what we are here for, but within certain limits. You can't go crazy as team-mates, because at the same time we are both racing for Mercedes, we're both here to have great success for Mercedes and help bring Mercedes to the front of Formula One.
"At the same time we want to go racing, have a good time and do some exciting stuff on track. You need to find the fine line and we have done so, and we're preparing for it and we've really gone through it in detail. We know what to expect and that's the most important thing. Once everybody knows what he has to do, you're good to go."