Toto Wolff says that Nico Rosberg’s win in Barcelona on a day when Lewis Hamilton faced frustration doesn’t necessarily signal a shift in the balance of power within the Mercedes camp.
While the consensus from outside observers is that victory for Nico will be a big boost for the German, Wolff insists that it’s not that simple.
“They are mentally very strong, both of them,” said Wolff. “And I think as much as we would like to find a dynamic that is pro or against a driver, they come out very strong even after a bad weekend or a defeat. After the debrief is over, they concentrate on the next one. We’ve seen it last year. We have spent time talking, is that now Nico on the run, has the balance swung more towards him, or is it now Lewis?
“I think you are probably going to see the same thing again this season, two drivers who are matching each other, trying to outperform each other. For us as a team it’s really a good situation, because it lifts the performance of the whole team, and it’s the best case.”
Wolff said there was no single reason why Rosberg had the upper hand over the course of the weekend.
“It’s difficult to see. If you are on such a level playing field it’s about feeling comfortable in the car, it’s about feeling comfortable on the track. I think before the weekend Lewis mentioned that Barcelona wasn’t his favourite one. I don’t know if that is the reason.
“It was difficult this weekend to get it right set-up wise, with the gusty winds and the lack of grip from session to session. And then obviously going into the race the minute you are able to control the race from the front it gives you an advantage. This is just want Nico did today, in a very controlled way.”
One response to “Toto Wolff: “They are mentally very strong, both of them…””
It is a good combination, when Lewis has a bad day Nico is right there to exploit it, and so the team is typically on the podium. Hamilton and Schumacher raised Nico’s game but I don’t see him as a champion unless Hamilton for some reason completely collapses in his performance.