Hamilton or Rosberg could be replaced
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff warns his drivers to behave themselves or face being sacked
Monza: Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has made it clear changing his driver line-up represents a worst-case scenario he is convinced will never happen.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton during the drivers' press conference after the German GP. Pic/Getty Images.
Wolff has warned feuding Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg if they continue to fall out of line then the team would consider axing either man. In the wake of the Belgian GP where Rosberg collided with Hamilton, an uneasy truce exists.
Hamilton suffered a puncture to his left-rear tyre on the second lap at Spa after being hit by the front wing of Rosberg’s car, ultimately forcing him to retire late on.
It resulted in Rosberg extending his lead in the drivers’ championship to 29 points over Hamilton. It remains to be seen whether they can keep it clean over the final seven races, but Wolff has made it clear any further indiscretions could have long-term repercussions.
“We don’t want this to happen ever again, and the consequences are very easy,” said Wolff in an initial interview to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“If we are not able to manage the two of them following the Mercedes-Benz racing spirit, then we need to take decisions and take consequences of having a different line-up probably.”
Clarifying his remarks, Wolff has since made clear neither man is at present in danger of losing his drive. “At this stage we are very happy with the line-up,” said Wolff, speaking at Monza ahead of the Italian GP.
“We trust them, we had a very good, clear discussion with them, that what happened in Spa shouldn’t happen. As for my comments, they were about what would happen if we could not get on top of things, which is a very worst-case vision. But I don’t think we’ll ever get that far.”
Monza: Championship leader Nico Rosberg topped the times ahead of title rival and teammate Lewis Hamilton in yesterday’s second free practice session.
The German clocked a best time of 1min 26.225sec, long before Hamilton, hampered by electrical problems, entered the fray with only half-an-hour remaining.