F1: Wolff--Mercedes' drivers now used to each other

F1: Wolff--Mercedes' drivers now used to each other

Formula 1

F1: Wolff--Mercedes' drivers now used to each other

 N7T4041Toto Wolff feels things are calmer at Mercedes this season as its Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have now become acclimatised to the intra-team battle.

During the 2014 championship fight between the duo tensions rose on occasions including the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying spat and their collision at the Belgian GP, where F1 will resume later this month.

THE ROSBERG/HAMILTON FLASHPOINTS

Monaco 2014: The trial of Nico Rosberg

Belgium 2014: Rosberg guilty, but not a villain

This year, despite the championship being primarily again a battle between the Mercedes pair – with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel hanging on gamely – peace has reigned.

Explaining the difference between this season and last, Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff told AUTOSPORT: “We’ve been working with each other for another year.

“And we’ve gone through the experience of having a competitive car good enough to win races and championships.

“We’ve adapted to one another and the drivers have become accustomed to one another in a competitive situation, and you learn and discuss a lot.

“There is also a lot of communication within the team, and we have a culture of ruthlessly exploring our weaknesses and mistakes without blaming, without pointing fingers at one another.

“Working together – combined with the title – has given us a calm, focused approach, knowing our strengths, knowing we will not be without weaknesses, and continuously working on that.”

Wolff maintains the overall philosophy within Mercedes has not altered in comparison to last year’s pursuit of a maiden crown for the team’s current incarnation.

“We haven’t lost our eagerness, our competitiveness,” added Wolff.

“We won the championship last year and we are so eager to do it again that our approach and mentality has not changed a lot.”

One factor that has changed has been the level of external animosity towards Mercedes given the team’s continued domination.

Wolff, though, feels that comes with the territory, and should be put in perspective.

“Sometimes it makes you wonder, but it’s normal and it was to be expected,” said Wolff.

“It’s down to your attitude, but we’ve seen in the past when teams have gained the upper hand they have then been criticised.

“But it needs to be put into context because someone told me recently that when Michael [Schumacher] was racing for Ferrari he went and won one of his titles in Hungary, so that’s dominance.

“It’s OK people talk and criticise. We just have to get on with our job and do our talking on the circuit.”

Originally on Autosport.com

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