Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton’s China spat has been settled ahead of this week’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Rosberg verbally attacked his team-mate Hamilton following the Chinese Grand Prix, accusing the reigning champion of deliberately compromising his race.
Rosberg said Hamilton had backed him into Sebastian Vettel in third during the second stint, a claim brushed off by the eventual race winner.
Wolff believes emotions were simply running high in China, and says the issue has been settled, with the team’s approach to allowing its drivers to race unchanged.
“We saw tensions between Nico and Lewis in the race and we tackled them directly on Sunday night to stop anything carrying over to this weekend,” Wolff said.
“When you have intense competition, it’s normal that it causes emotions to run high – and that’s not something we want to change.
“But both drivers are now very focused on delivering maximum performance in Bahrain and our package should cope well with the demands of the circuit.
“We maintain our philosophy of letting the drivers race – but they both know that the number one priority for the team is to win for Mercedes-Benz.”
Wolff says he was impressed by the way Mercedes responded to Vettel’s Malaysian Grand Prix win, but admits the threat of Ferrari has not passed.
“After the wake-up call in Malaysia, it was satisfying to see how the team pulled together for the race in China,” he explained.
“We did our homework, made improvements and scored a strong one-two finish. But China also confirmed that Ferrari will be a threat in all conditions this year, not just when it’s very hot, and that we will have new challenges to face as a team, with another competitor who is much closer to our level of performance.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS