“Things were complicated”: Wolff reveals that he was on the verge of making Hamilton take a break

According to Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff, there was no thought given to the dynamic between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg initially.

But, things changed when the pair fell out fighting for titles which resulted in a detrimental relationship within the team.

From 2013 onwards, Hamilton joined Mercedes and the relationship between the two disintegrated from a close friendship to a full fledged war as the team began dominating Formula 1.

This ultimately resulted in several clashes and on-track incidents creating an uneasy atmosphere.

Hamilton had won the title in 2014 and 2015 while Rosberg defeated Hamilton in 2016 and immediately announced his retirement a few days later.

Looking back at the time period, Wolff didn’t believe that the antagonistic nature of the both the driver’s relationship brought out their best driving.

“I’m not sure it gets the best out of both, because that is negativity, and you still have to be a team player,” Wolff said.

“If the debriefing room is full of negativity, because the two drivers are hostile with each other, then that will spill over into the energy into the room, and that is not something I will ever allow again.”

Wolff also mentioned that hiring of Hamilton alongside Rosberg happened before he was able to influence the decision. It was done to replace the retiring Michael Schumacher.

“I couldn’t change it, because the drivers were hired before I came,” Wolff said.

Both Hamilton and Rosberg were closely matched in their junior careers. No thought was given by the team management on how the pair would gel together which ultimately led to a highly toxic atmosphere.

“Nobody actually thought what is the dynamic between the two? What is the past between the two? There was a lot of historical context that none of us knew, and will never know,” Wolff added.

“That’s why it is something that we’re looking at, how do the drivers work with each other, what happens in the case of failure of one and the other.

“We accept the annoyance and pain if it goes against one, but we’re trying still to keep the positive dynamic in the team.”

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