Wolff: Mercedes, not drivers, decides strategy

By on Monday, November 16, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions that Lewis Hamilton should have been allowed to try a different strategy during the Brazilian Grand Prix in a bid to pass team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton trailed Rosberg throughout the race and requested an alternative approach, though Mercedes kept to its strategy of stopping three times.

"We have our strategists - and if the drivers in the car start to make their own [decisions] they would lose every single race," Wolff is quoted by the official F1 website.

"Strategy is not an instinct-driven decision. Yes, the instinct might be right sometimes, but without having the full set of data you are going to get the majority of your races wrong. That's why we keep it as it is.

"We have our principles when it comes to strategy, in place since 2013 - and they have worked well. We will not change that. In the car you don't have the complete picture.

"In that particular moment, Lewis's tyres were going off and the talk was about the three-stop strategy. This would have been around ten seconds slower, so he might even have lost out to Sebastian [Vettel].

"It was therefore out of the question. Of course the driver in the car is emotional - that is understandable. We have hired guard dogs, not puppies!"

Wolff is expecting Ferrari to pose a closer threat to Mercedes next season.

"I am anticipating a tough challenge with Ferrari in 2016," he said.

"They have done some clever moves - and yes, they have definitely caught up. So they will be a very important competitor - a very welcome competitor."

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