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Toto Wolff

Wolff admits Mercedes/Red Bull battle easier to manage than Hamilton/Rosberg

Toto Wolff is no stranger to managing controversy following the inter-team rivalry that took place between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. However, the team boss has explained why this situation differs to the current battle with Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

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Toto Wolff admits that managing an external fight like the current one playing out with Red Bull is easier to manage than internal battles, such as the inter-team rivalry that took place between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Following Hamilton's clash with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix, some pundits have questioned whether their relationship could now unfold in a similar way to Rosberg and Hamilton's rivalry. However, Wolff feels that the 2021 title battle is different given that it is taking place between different teams rather than within the same garage.

"The external ones are easy to deal with," Wolff told Autosport. "This is far away from the controversy that we had within the team.

"Those are very difficult to manage because you need both drivers in a good headspace to win the Constructors' Championship, and to drive respecting the team's values and the mighty Mercedes brand.

"The external fight, this is how F1 has always been and not something that is difficult to manage."

Despite this, Wolff admits there are difficulties when it comes to fighting against a rival team given that there are perhaps more uncertainties.

"You have tools to de-escalate the situation within the team if you have such a rivalry going ugly," the Mercedes team principal explained.

"Competing with another team, things that need to happen will happen. And we have no particular judgement on what is going to happen at this stage."

Hamilton and Rosberg were rivals during their time as teammates at the Silver Arrows between 2013 and 2016. Tensions appeared to particularly boil over when the pair collided at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, resulting in both crashing out of the race on the first lap.

Rosberg has seemingly agreed with Wolff in commenting that his battle with Hamilton was more complicated than the British driver's title fight with Verstappen.

"I think in my time it was even more complicated because it's within the same team," Rosberg told the Express. "So at least here you have the whole team behind Verstappen, the whole team behind Lewis, and then it’s the team against team and that does make it a little bit different."

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