Toto Wolff believes that Mercedes would have “exploded” had it raced with two Lewis Hamiltons in 2015 as the debate regarding its driver line-up continues.
Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg have been at loggerheads for much of the past two years during their battle for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with their rivalry flaring up once again at the end of the season following three successive wins for the German.
This prompted Wolff to issue a warning to both drivers, saying that he could be forced to change the line-up if their rivalry had a negative effect on the team.
However, in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Wolff said that the personalities of Hamilton and Rosberg do complement each other, and that having two of either driver would have been negative for the team.
“If we had two Hamiltons, the team would have probably exploded,” Wolff said. “Two Rosbergs would not make it easier though.
“The combination of the two is quite good. It is the ideal situation, even if it sometimes makes life hard. They are so different, they have an individual approach. This helps us to be better.”
Rosberg rallied in the final three races of the year to beat Hamilton and take his first career hat-trick, stoking the fire for another battle between the two in 2016.
Wolff feels that Hamilton became overly relaxed after winning the championship in Austin, but thinks that the Briton will be back to the top of his game for the new season.
“Psychology plays a major role,” Wolff said. “Lewis has achieved his goal, bagged the title and then relaxed a bit. Although that has perhaps only taken place subconsciously.
“At the same time, I do not want to detract from Nico’s performance. He showed in the last races a great performance.
“I think that’s good, because we have two great drivers in the team for next year. Both will be back to peak performance.
“This is a key to success for us. They both inspire and bring the team forward – although it caused many gray hairs.”