Toto Wolff: Mercedes chief mulls team orders to foil Ferrari

Posted on Apr 19 2017 - 9:21am by admin

Mercedes drivers Britain's Lewis Hamilton (L) and Finland's Valtteri Bottas (R) pose with team chief Toto Wolff by the new 2017 season car at its launch at Silverstone near Towcester, central England on February 23, 2017

Wolff admitted that it usually is difficult for Mercedes to proceed to allow their drivers total freedom.

Mercedes crew chief Toto Wolff says he’s taking into account introducing team orders in a bid to halt Ferrari's momentum on this yr's world championship.

within the wake of Sebastian Vettel's 2d win of the season in Bahrain on Sunday Wolff admitted that it is usually difficult for Mercedes to continue to allow their drivers total freedom – and may just ask new boy Valtteri Bottas to take the function of a ‘quantity two’ driver.

The Finn was once asked to allow three-time champion Lewis Hamilton to cross him in Manama as he laboured in pursuit of Vettel in a situation that could be repeated often, if reluctantly.

"We don't love it at all," stated Wolff, conscious of the group's custom for open ‘terms of engagement’ that allowed excessive competition between Hamilton and retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg within the last three years.

"It's not what we have now achieved in the remaining couple of years, however the state of affairs is different now… So, it desires a proper diagnosis of what it approach and where we are…

"We'd like to present equal opportunity at the start of the race. i believe we owe it to them.

"you then see what we did within the this race — we made the call, we made the decision twice, because we felt it was once the only chance of successful the race…"

For the primary time in four years, Mercedes have misplaced their supreme dominance and face a major combat to hang on to their drivers’ and constructors’ titles as a revived Ferrari have received the initiative.

In Bahrain, Ferrari’s aggressive technique and ways made the champions appear rattled and ponderous as Vettel followed up his win within the season-opening Australian Grand Prix to take a clear lead within the championship.

via in the hunt for not to give both driver any advantage over the other, Mercedes have been unable to reply straight away and delayed their determination-making after Ferrari's early transfer to make an ‘under-minimize’ pit stop.

Wolff mentioned he didn’t favour forsaking the team policy of giving the drivers’ equality and rejected the speculation of backing the motive force who took pole position, or was most developed on the grid.

"that would be too harsh," he said.

"it would be the alternative of what we have done over the years. It's vital, as we start the race, to provide them equal opportunity.

"we might most definitely have taken a different choice if Valtteri had run on the entrance, with the problem on the tyres, and Lewis would had been 2d, but with Vettel, between them, there was once nothing we could have accomplished.

"That's why it was once the very best storm….

"it is our frame of mind and our racing philosophy, unless now, that we’ve got given them both equal chance. Like right here, in case you have two automobiles beginning on the front row – if they run 2nd and first, you just must let them race.

"you probably have an issue on the automobile, as we had (with Bottas' rear tyres), then it is a state of affairs to imagine — to swap them – but with a Ferrari in between, we couldn't. Three races into the season, you don't need to go there yet.”

Bottas' issues with his rear tyres had been because of a generator failure on the grid that supposed the staff might not bleed the air pressures for the race.

Vettel's win lifted him prime of the drivers’ championship with 68 factors beforehand of Hamilton on 61 and Bottas on 38.

It brought on celebrations in Italy the place self assurance in Ferrari has soared, however has left Mercedes with a problem to resolve just three races into the 2017 season.

Sochi ranges the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.

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