Mercedes have done something very rarely seen in any form of prestige sport – Admit they made a mistake. In hindsight, beyond the cesspit of unparalleled pressure that must have been present in the Mercedes garage in the closing laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Toto Wolff has admitted that the team were incorrect in giving team orders to Hamilton.
🏁 #F1 LAPS LED IN 2016 🏁
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 7, 2016
Wolff has amiably admitted the error of judgement and insists that the team should have just let their driver’s race.
“In the heat of the moment, sometimes when you make decisions you get them wrong.
In our mind, the way we think, this race is giving us the same number of points as other races and we try to win that one, not considering that there was much more at stake for the drivers.
How the race panned out, we should have communicated differently and in hindsight let them race in the way they deemed to be appropriate.”
– Toto Wolff
— Autosport (@autosport) December 4, 2016
Lewis Hamilton walks away from the scenario without punishment and arguably without being in the wrong in the first place. As many onlookers pointed out, it was the British driver’s lead in the race, and his risk-taking should have remained a factor exclusive to him, beyond the powers of the pit-wall.
Had the duo crashed out together, Toto Wolff might have had a more table-whacking dosage of hindsight, but as the checkered flag fell, the running order hadn’t even been affected by Hamilton’s antics.
In terms of Lewis Hamilton’s influence on the selection of a teammate for next year, Wolff added,
“He has been a great pillar in the team’s success. When he came, everything changed, so he has played a role.
It’s very important to keep him in a good place. The dynamics between the two drivers is one of the factors we will consider.”
– Toto Wolff
If the dynamics between the two drivers are genuinely considered, Fernando Alonso’s chances of getting the seat look unlikely. If Mercedes want to have a less dramatic 2017, may we recommend a calming Finn?