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2 Lewis Hamilton
3 Felipe Massa

Rosberg strength impresses Wolff

Friday 30th May 2014

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Rosberg strength impresses Wolff

Rosberg strength impresses Wolff

Toto Wolff is full of praise for the mental strength Nico Rosberg showed in Monaco, although the Mercedes boss believes the German's rivalry with Lewis Hamilton is "very different" to that of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

Rosberg's victory on the streets of Monte Carlo last week was his first since the opening race of the season in Australia. Between Rosberg's two wins this season, he finished in second place to Hamilton, who won four on the trot to take the Drivers' Championship lead, before the German regained the lead again last week.

During an exclusive interview with crash.net this week, Wolff replied "Yes, absolutely," when asked whether or not he was impressed with the mental strength Rosberg showed in the Principality.

"I remember two weeks ago people were writing him off and saying 'Will that break him?' Now here we are two weeks later and he's back in the lead of the championship, so you can never somebody off.

"These guys are really competitive. They have gone through these situations many times in their lives be it in karting or in junior formulae so that is OK."

Even though there is clearly some tension between the two Mercedes drivers, Wolff dismissed suggestions that it is going to be as unseemly as the famous rivalry between Senna and Prost during the 1980s and 90s.

"There have been a lot of comparisons to the Senna/Prost scenario, which is a kind of compliment to Lewis and Nico, but the situation here is very different," Wolff told the Mercedes' official website.

"The racing philosophy of Mercedes is to allow our drivers to compete: we let the boys play with their toys, unless they break them.

"It can be pretty tense when they are racing so hard, but the drivers know we will not tolerate any incident.

Within the team we are transparent with our data and we give our drivers equal equipment and equal opportunity to succeed.

"We have fair processes in place to handle things like which driver runs first on the road in qualifying, or who has the priority with race strategy.

"We constantly question any area in which we think we can improve but we are not planning to make any changes.

"Our priority at every race is that a Silver Arrows wins, not which driver wins."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo nearly stopped the Mercedes pair of recording their fifth consecutive one-two finish in Monaco, Wolff doesn't expect the Australian and his World Champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel to challenge them in Montreal next week.

"We know that Red Bull was going to be closer because [Monaco] is a downforce track and it is not a power circuit so hopefully we will increase the margin in Montreal again a little bit," added during his crash.net interview.

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