No change in Mercedes approach despite Spain clash

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says that the team will not change its approach to letting its drivers race despite seeing Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg take each other out of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

After locking out the front row of the grid in Barcelona, Hamilton and Rosberg came together just four corners into the race to end Mercedes’ streak of race wins at 10, one shy of McLaren’s record from 1988.

The incident has been widely debated, with both Mercedes and the FIA deeming neither driver to have been predominantly to blame.

However, it did once again raise the question of whether Mercedes should continue to allow its drivers to race wheel-to-wheel, or impose team orders to prevent incidents such as this in the future.

Speaking in the aftermath of Sunday’s race, Wolff said that there would be no such consideration, with Mercedes believing it to be best for the sport that its drivers be free to race.

“After all the hard work we’ve put in over the past two weeks it’s deeply disappointing to come away with no points, but in my opinion this was a racing incident, with the drivers racing for position, and I don’t want to start blaming one or the other,” Wolff said.

“Both Lewis and Nico are upset and we talked with them, looking at the pictures and the data, to determine exactly what happened.

“By letting the drivers race as we do, this kind of eventuality can happen but we won’t change our approach – we owe it to Formula One and the fans to let them race.

“But today, it was the work of the whole team that finished in the gravel trap, and this isn’t what we want to see happen – both of the boys know how much hard work goes into each race weekend and that they have the responsibility to bring that home.

“We have matured as a team over the past years, so we will be able to move on from this and, hopefully, fight back in a positive way in Monaco.”