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'We're not in the let's-make-everybody-happy business' - Wolff

ESPN Staff
August 23, 2014 « Button annoyed after 'fluffing' last lap | Lauda angry with Rosberg risk »
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it is inevitable that his team will not be able to please both its drivers all of the time, but that it has learned from the events of Hungary.

In the last race at the Hungaroring, Lewis Hamilton was asked to let team-mate Nico Rosberg past because Rosberg was on a different strategy. Hamilton refused to do so, leading to a meeting between drivers and team management on Thursday to clarify the situation.

When asked about the meeting, Hamilton said it was "quite funny" while Rosberg refused to comment on the issue. Wolff argues that the team cannot always keep both its drivers happy, but would continue to be as transparent as possible.

"This is not only a race on the track, this is a race off the track as well," he said. "Part of the race is positioning yourself and making sure you are in the best possible position within the team and with the relationships in order to get the best out of the team for yourself.

"It is completely normal for the race drivers, like any other individual, to have ups and downs. Sometimes you are happier and other times you are less happy, and for us it is about always extracting the maximum from the both of them. This is why we want to give them the environment and the support they need to perform at their best.

"But we are also not in the let's-make-everybody-happy business. We need to take decisions and if you take decisions sometimes it will swing to one side and sometimes it will swing to the other side, but we need to be always fair, straight-forward and transparent. This is the only way we can cope with the situation of having two No.1 drivers; the only way of managing it."

Asked specifically about the funny side of the meeting, Wolff added: "Sometimes it gets heated, but funnily heated. I cannot really tell you more because it's very internal and between the drivers, and a bit unfair to make fun of them. We are in good spirits."

Mercedes stands by the idea of its drivers not getting in the way of each other when they are on different strategies, but Wolff said the team's communications need to be more clear.

"We still believe the principal is right, of making the guy aware that the other has one more stop to go and that is why you should let him go. Now, what was being told to Nico was that Lewis was just going to let him by, which is probably just not the right words. Whether it was driven by instinct, intellect or following the procedures, then what Lewis said was right: 'He can overtake me'.

"He wouldn't have made his life difficult [when overtaking] and that is probably the only thing you can expect from the guy in front. We need to choose our words carefully and that's what we need to be aware of in the heat of the battle. I think it wasn't the last time we have encountered some controversy between the two and probably it won't be the last time we need to learn, and learn on the job. It's staying exciting for us."

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