Driver tension could force changes at Mercedes - Wolff


Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff has warned the team may consider future changes to their driver line-up should the apparent animosity between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg escalate.

The last two Formula One seasons have been dominated by Mercedes, who have claimed successive constructors' championships by huge margins.

Hamilton beat team-mate Rosberg to the drivers' title in 2014 and 2015, but the relationship between the two has become increasingly strained amid a series of public fall-outs.

Wolff told "We struggle sometimes in winning races on Sunday and having always one [driver] upset. And this spills over into the team. It is something that needs to stop.

"We took the decision of having two evenly matched drivers in order to make the team progress faster and better. It was a very conscious decision three years ago.

"Going forward, we will consider if it is the best set-up for the team. Personality and character within the team is a crucial ingredient for the team success.

"If we feel that it is not aligned with the general consensus, spirit and philosophy within the team, we might consider that when we take a decision, in terms of the driver line-up going forward.

"I think it is important to have talented and fast drivers in the car. But we want to work with nice guys."

Wolff cited the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg as a primary concern for Mercedes.

"I feel that the team is stronger than ever. We are having huge unity within the team, but the difficult relationship of the drivers is one of our weaknesses. And that is not good," he added.

"If I were to analyse what are the biggest strengths and the biggest weakness of the team, I would say the biggest strength is the quality and the characters of the personalities within the team.

"The biggest weakness is the dynamic of the relationship between the drivers - and sometimes between the drivers and the team."