‘Rules of engagement between drivers will remain,’ says Wolff

While Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is hoping flash points between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will remain at a minimum, rules of engagement shall persist.

In light of last season’s heated on-track confrontations between Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes is keen to apply deterrents this year while letting its drivers the freedom to race.

“That is an internal paper that has grown over the years, with experience”, Wolff said at the team’s launch today, referring to Mercedes’ rules of engagement.

“Still, when you look at Abu Dhabi it proved to have blank spots. So it’s something you want to continue to do and develop for the benefit of the team, the drivers and the spectators.

“The basic concept will stay in place, we are maybe going to call it differently and trim it a little bit, add the bits that were missing, but not make it a complex regulation.”

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While drivers will remain under tight scrutiny and while an intense rivalry is expected between its chargers, Wolff admitted it could be a very different state of affairs at Mercedes compared to last season’s contentious relationship, especially if the German manufacturer sees its dominance greatly reduced.

“We have to see how the season gets started anyway, it might be completely different in terms of the dynamics between the drivers and the dynamic with other teams. But the basic concept stays, yes.”

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