Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff said that he may consider imposing team orders after the Italian Grand Prix as the title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel is getting more intense.
Mercedes usually stresses that both drivers share equal status at Mercedes, but the team may be force to shift Valtteri Bottas into a supporting role. There are eight races remaining in this season and Lewis Hamilton is leading the championship in front of Sebastian Vettel by 17 points. Valtteri Bottas sits in fourth place in the championship 87 points adrift of his team-mate. The current situation and the fact there Mercedes and Ferrari are almost on equal terms performance-wise may force Wolff to shift the team’s focus on Lewis Hamilton.
„Let's see how Monza pans out and how it goes, and then we will address the question whether we need to put all force behind one driver. And we owe it to the two men and F1 to not interfere into the racing."
Recently, the Austrian admitted that Mercedes has lost its competitve advantage and its car has been trailing some deficits to Ferrari. Thus, the Anglo-German team is prepared to play the hunted’s role, but also the hunter’s role in some other events.
"I am not confident that we will have enough of a margin," he said. "We will have some tracks that suit us, or that should suit us more. And then there will be tracks where we are definitely the challenger, like Singapore, and maybe Mexico. And this is a fact.”
"Nevertheless there are eight more races to go, many points to score and now is the time to really outperform and answer some of the questions."