lewis hamilton, toto wolff, valtteri bottas

Wolff: We are not trying to build a new family here

lewis hamilton, toto wolff, valtteri bottas

Compared to 2016, the 2017 season was a walk in the park for Mercedes and the relationship between their two drivers, but team chief Toto Wolff has revealed that needle between teammates is not a bad thing and can serve to raise the bar.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton endured a fractious and stress packed four years together with the Silver Arrows in which the Briton won two Formula 1 world titles and the German bagged one. 

In contrast this year, Hamilton has enjoyed a much more civil relationship with Valtteri Bottas, Rosberg’s replacement, during the Finn’s first season with the team.

But Wolff is not sure that harmony between the drivers is necessarily a good thing, “I don’t think we need to avoid a stressful situation. We need to acknowledge that, if two team-mates can fight for race wins and a championship, this will be a rivalry.”

“We are not trying to build a new family here, we want to be the most effective racing team, and an effective racing team needs stress, needs tension, needs disruption as much as it needs calmness and a positive attitude and mindset. But like everywhere in life you want to have the mix of both, probably the recipe for success.”

Asked about who he expects to challenge Mercedes in 2018, Wolff said, “We mustn’t discount anybody. Today, as it stands, it looks like Ferrari and Red Bull. I am curious to see where McLaren and Renault come out.”

“I wouldn’t write anybody off. The rules will stay the same so it could be a very competitive season. I guess we will see a fight between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing – and maybe McLaren-Renault will join us in the title fight. That is an exciting outlook for the fans,” concluded Wolff.

Big Question: Is tension between F1 teammates a good thing for a team?