Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
2 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
16 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
39 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
53 days
13 Jun
Race in
60 days
27 Jun
Race in
74 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
95 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
109 days
29 Aug
Race in
137 days
05 Sep
Race in
144 days
26 Sep
Race in
165 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
242 days

Wolff: Nobody foresaw hostility between Hamilton and Rosberg

Toto Wolff believes Mercedes could not have foreseen the hostility between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, saying there was historical context "none of us knew, and will never know."

Wolff: Nobody foresaw hostility between Hamilton and Rosberg

After being teammates in karting, Hamilton and Rosberg raced at Mercedes between 2013 and 2016, going head-to-head for the Formula 1 world championship in their final three years together.

The title battles featured a number of tense moments between the two drivers, including on-track collisions at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix and the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

Upon beating Hamilton to the world title in 2016, Rosberg announced his immediate retirement from F1, prompting Mercedes to sign Valtteri Bottas as his replacement.

Speaking about the competition between Hamilton and Rosberg on Jake Humphrey's High Performance Podcast, Mercedes team boss Wolff dismissed the idea that the friction helped bring out the best in the drivers.

"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."

Read Also:

Wolff explained how he was unable to get to the bottom of the friction between Hamilton and Rosberg, saying there was "historical context" Mercedes was unaware of, and that he may never fully understand.

"I couldn't change it, because the drivers were hired before I came," Wolff said.

"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.

"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."

After some early-season tension in 2014, Hamilton and Rosberg first came to blows on-track at Spa when Rosberg refused to back out of an early on-track battle. He later told the team it was in response to Hamilton ignoring team orders at the previous race in Hungary.

Wolff worked to nevertheless create an environment in which both drivers recognised that nothing was more important that the team result, and the importance of representing the Mercedes brand.

"It was very difficult, because I came into the team as a newcomer in Formula 1, and Nico and Lewis had been in the sport for much longer," Wolff said.

"But still I was able to create an environment where they had to respect the team, sometimes with an iron fist, and they understood that they couldn't let us down, they couldn't let Mercedes down.

"In the events of 2014, I felt there was some selfish behaviour. I said the next time you come close to the other car, your teammate, you think about the Mercedes brand. You think about single individuals in the team.

"You think about Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Mercedes. That's going to change the way you act. You're not going to put your teammate into the wall.

"I always made clear that if this was going to happen regularly and there was a pattern, I have no fear in making somebody miss races."

shares
comments

Related video

Ocon: Alpine has "no margin" in battle for F1 points 

Previous article

Ocon: Alpine has "no margin" in battle for F1 points 

Next article

The day Jenson Button won a Grand Prix while standing still

The day Jenson Button won a Grand Prix while standing still
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Author Luke Smith
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021