Mercedes has duty to F1 to allow its drivers to race
Mercedes says it has a duty to allow its drivers to race freely in order to keep Formula One exciting.
Mercedes has dominated the 2014 season so far, with three wins from three races, but has allowed Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to battle on track. At the Bahrain Grand Prix the two drivers provided an enthralling duel for the lead and executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe said Mercedes would not have it any other way.
"Imagine if we had imposed team orders from lap two, what a terrible thing that would be for Formula One and the philosophy of Mercedes motorsport," he said. "It's something that we base ourselves on and the sport is about, but it's also about the drivers. They are great drivers and professionals and you want to give them the opportunity to race, which is what they do."
Lowe said the battle between the two drivers was also being played out on the pit wall as the two sides of the Mercedes garage managed their power units to offer optimum power to their drivers and help intensify the battle.
"One of the enjoyable aspects and one of the new games you can play in Formula One is energy management," he said. "With this power unit you have a battery and you have various manoeuvres you can pull. It was the same with KERS, with KERS you could save up energy and deploy it in double boosts, but with this power unit that effect is even more extreme.
"There are opportunities to manage your energy flow, save it up perhaps and play it out in different places. The team is very well practiced and trained in that and how to use that with the drivers. What we saw in those last ten laps was not only the drivers competing but each side of the garage competing and playing the game of energy deployment.
"It's a cat and mouse game of staying one step ahead with the use of the energy around the lap. You have to be very aware of that and you may have heard a lot of strategies on the radio, but that was a pretty exciting internal aspect to that competition."
However, one aspect the team had not anticipated was that its open data policy would mean the two sides of the garage could see what the opposition was doing.
"It's an interesting point that we hadn't predicted because we hadn't studied the scenario, but they could see each other's data so they would immediately know what he's done and then they react."
Lowe is confident Mercedes can make good use of its early advantage over its rivals to extend its lead at the top of the championship.
"The season is long but you'd have to say ta the moment we've got a good performance gap that will certainly sustain us for a few races to come, I hope!"