Toto Wolff hits back at Lewis Hamilton in strategy row

¬†Formula 1 drivers allowed to choose their own strategies would “lose every single race”, says Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff after Lewis Hamilton‘s complaints over Brazilian Grand Prix tactics according to a report in Autosport.Hamilton was left frustrated at not being able to alter his strategy at Interlagos as he found himself stuck behind team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Nico Rosberg, Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg, Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes insists on strategy equality between its drivers, and argued all alternatives open to Hamilton at that point in the Brazilian race would have been slower.

Asked Mercedes would review its policy over the winter, Wolff replied: “The answer is no. We are going to keep one strategist.

“If the driver in the car starts to determine strategy then he is going to lose every single race because that is not an instinct-driven decision.

“Your instinct might be right sometimes, but if you don’t have the full set of data then you are going to get the majority of the races wrong. We will keep it like this.”

Wolff can appreciate some fans would prefer to see the strategies mixed up, but believes it would cause driver tension.

“As a fan I can understand, absolutely,” added Wolff.

“But there are various escalations. We could have done it like teams in the past, having a clear number one and number two, and the number two wouldn’t even come close to the other one.

“We’ve changed that, and sometimes it is difficult for us to manage, letting the two fight with each other.

“Now you could say ‘let’s take it one step further’ and let the strategists play against each other, but this is not where we want to head.

“Controversy within the team is detrimental. We have kept the team together, not only the drivers, but also the travelling team in the garage and in Brackley and Brixworth because the team comes first.

“So from a fan’s standpoint, I can understand, but from a team’s standpoint I have a boring answer that we are not going to change.” Wolff conceded there is only one possible scenario where he would rethink the situation.

“I was asked before, and I need to think about it: what would we do if this were the title decider?” reflected Wolff.

“We would never want to interfere in a very important result and decide who comes first or second. Never.

“So maybe it’s worth the thought, what would happen if it was such a crucial race? How would we tackle that? I don’t have an answer yet.”