Toto Wolff says that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton won’t come under extra pressure to avoid trouble on the first lap today just because Hockenheim is the home race for Mercedes.
Despite the presence of executives and guests the team boss insisted that it would be just enough a race.
“Because everything is televised to millions of people almost every race is the same,” said Wolff. “It doesn’t get much worse than in Barcelona, where the board was present, and we had to answer the question after 60 seconds what are we doing now for the next 90 minutes? So I wouldn’t say there is extra pressure. It’s pretty much the same everywhere.”
Wolff said he was sure his drivers would continue to behave themselves.
“I’m very confident, because we’ve talked about it a lot, what the consequence would be. And that hasn’t changed. But as a driver it’s clear that they wouldn’t want to make a statement before the race that they are aware that they shouldn’t be crashing, that would be giving too much away. They are aware.
“Those guidelines are designed to prevent incidents that cost us points. We haven’t had any incidents since then [Spain]. So whatever the behaviour is or the pattern is during the build-up to the race weekend, it doesn’t really matter. It’s important that on a Sunday those rules are being followed. Silverstone was pretty straightforward and Hungary was pretty straightforward, so I have positive indications that the message has arrived.”
Rosberg said he is expecting a busy first lap: “It goes all the way to Turn Two, Turn Six, the battle. The thing is that you have got a short run to Turn One only, so that will make it quite different, and the asphalt is old, which means that second place is at I think a bigger disadvantage. So some things in my favour for sure. Let’s see.”
Meanwhile Hamilton said that despite it being easier to pass at Hockenheim than in the last race in Hungary the first lap would still be critical.
“You have to take measured risks at every start anyway, so that doesn’t change,” said the World Champion. “And ultimately you want to get by, whether it’s Turn One or Turn Two, or at some point. It is an easier track to overtake, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier to be close to Nico and be in a position to overtake. But there is more opportunity than there was at the last race, for sure.”