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Toto Wolff ‘Prepared to Sacrifice’ Few Races to Warn ‘Future Generation’ on Teammate Rivalry Like Nico Rosberg and Hamilton

Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes AMG F1 revealed that he was ready to make Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg miss races back in 2014-16 era to teach ‘future generation’ a lesson. The team boss made this staunch revelation as he had to take the hold of Hamilton-Rosberg rivalry that was almost imploding the Silver Arrows.

When Nico joined Lewis at Mercedes back in 2013, Formula One has started seeing one of the fiercest teammate rivalries ever. The duo made everyone else at Formula One look clueless and took the poles one after another. The seven times world champion Lewis managed to beat Nico on two occasions to claim the Championship title in 2014 and 2015, while Nico, the German beat Hamilton in 2016.

Mercedes AMG - F1 - Toto Wolff

Mercedes AMG F1 Principal and CEO Toto Wolff with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. (Image courtesy: Getty Images)

Wolff, the Mercedes boss while talking with The High-Performance Podcast, conveyed, “I always made it clear that if this were to happen regularly, and I would see a pattern, then I have no fear in making somebody miss races. You always need to be very clear that you compete in the car if you understand the team game. But I’m prepared to sacrifice a race or two just to make it clear for all future generations that are going to drive for Mercedes that that’s not on.”

Team before individual, affirms boss Toto Wolff

The 49-year-old Austrian investor who joined the Silverstone-based team in 2013 further asserted, “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. But still, I was able to create an environment where they had to respect the team. Sometimes with an iron fist, or iron grip, and they understood that they couldn’t let us down, they couldn’t let Mercedes down.”

Hamilton and Rosberg had been mates at first during their Karting days, and then become friends at Mercedes. The newly turned friends becomes bitter rivals when one was eager to topple the other. Most iconic events of such rivalry were in Spa in 2014, Austria in 2016 and the infamous collision at Spanish Grand Prix in 2016 as well.

Mercedes now fields their star driver Lewis Hamilton and Finnish Valtteri Bottas, however the rivalry isn’t as fierce as it was with Rosberg. The Silver Arrows team management somehow managed to take the situation under control and are now more focused on taking on Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen.

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