F1: Wolff issues team orders threat after tangle

F1: Wolff issues team orders threat after tangle

Formula 1

F1: Wolff issues team orders threat after tangle

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, wing damage, Austrian GP 2016

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff will mull over the coming days whether to impose team orders on errant Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg following their latest collision.

Just eight weeks after wiping each other out in a first-lap crash in the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton and Rosberg had another incident on the final lap in Austria. Former leader Rosberg fell to fourth with front wing damage as Hamilton took the checkered flag.

With both drivers under investigation, a clearly angry Wolff feels clear guidelines may now be needed to avoid such a situation again.

“In Barcelona, I was much easier about it because we had 29 races without any collision,” said Wolff. “It was clear it was eventually going to happen, and it wiped out both cars.

“From my naive thinking, I said to myself, ‘OK, that’s it, they’ve learned their lesson, they’ve seen the consequences and it’s not going to happen anymore.’ But here we go, it happens again.

“So the only consequence is to look at all the options available on the table, and one option is to freeze the order of a certain stage in the race. It’s unpopular – it makes me puke myself, because I like to see them race – but if racing is not possible without contact, then that’s the consequence.”

Asked how quickly a decision will be made, Wolff said: “We’ll have to cool down a little bit and in the next couple of days figure it out.

“We will make a decision irrespective of what they [the drivers] say. It’s the core race team that’s got to make a decision, and it could go either direction.

“The outcome needs to be that we avoid contact between the two cars, so everything needs to be on the table.”

Hamilton attacked Rosberg, who had brake-by-wire problems, around the outside in the collision. Wolff refused to apportion any blame.

“It always takes two to tango,” he said. “But it starts somewhere, and it started with the braking into Turn 2 where one hard maneuver triggered the next hard maneuver, and it could have ended up in a double collision, which obviously is the worst nightmare for us.”

Asked whether he felt Rosberg deliberately drove into Hamilton, Wolff replied: “No, I don’t think it’s that black and white.

“Nico was with a car that was handicapped, trying to brake later, and not on the line that was probably the normal line, and Lewis came from the outside, and this is where the first contact was made. I don’t want to attribute any particular blame to each of them.

“There’s the heat of the moment – it’s either the first lap or the last lap – and you know what? I am fed up with trying to analyze it. I just don’t want any contact anymore.”

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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