Toto Wolff insists Mercedes would rather order their drivers to hold station than look ‘like an idiot’ if they crash into each other…
Toto Wolff insists Mercedes would rather order their drivers to hold station than look ‘like an idiot’ if they crash into each other.
Team orders made headlines in the wake of the Malaysian GP when both Red Bull and Mercedes issued them.
But while Sebastian Vettel chose to ignore his team, Nico Rosberg obeyed, staying put behind Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton went on to complete the podium behind the Bulls, who almost collided when Vettel attacked Mark Webber.
And Wolff reckons it is that near-collision between the Bulls that highlighted the reason why team orders are issued.
“As a racing driver, deep inside him [Rosberg] is not happy about it,” the Merc executive director told Autosport “But he understands why that call was made.
“We are all grown ups and they are grown up. They are professional sportsmen and they understand that sometimes there can be a certain controversy in a certain situation.
“Obviously as a race driver you are not happy because you could have gone faster, but you also have to bear in mind that it is about the team also, and where the team came from.
“Imagine the two Red Bulls crashing, you look like an idiot and he looks like an idiot. So we took a conservative approach. Because of where we were last year, it was a good call.”
The Austrian is confident that his drivers won’t hold any grudges over the decision as the air has already been cleared with Wolff and team boss Ross Brawn.
“We have sorted it out after the race, Ross and I sat down with the drivers and there is no issue any more.
“I am really happy that we don’t have this problem, that we have two team-mates who have a good relationship with each other, that we have a driver like Nico who has accepted a call that was not satisfying for him.
“We have no controversy in the team.”