Mercedes is no longer operating as a team following Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s lap two collision at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, according to ex-F1 driver Mark Webber.
The Mercedes duo were battling for the lead of the race when Rosberg’s front wing punctured Hamilton’s tyre at Les Combes, costing the Brackley-based outfit what could have been a dominant one-two finish.
Rosberg eventually recovered to second place, while Hamilton retired. Webber was part of a similarly tense rivalry at Red Bull Racing with Sebastian Vettel, which included a collision between the two drivers at the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix.
“Now we have a very difficult situation at Mercedes where the drivers are not enjoying a good relationship,” Webber said on Servus TV’s Sport und Talk.
“It’s going to be interesting, not just for the rest of this year but can they drive together in the future? Is it okay for 2015 for the team to have the two guys together?
“The thing is, who is now going to try to put this back together? Is it the people who pay Niki’s and Toto’s wages? “Because at the end of the day, if the drivers are not listening to these guys, do they have to say, ‘Lewis and Nico, you go chat to the big guys at Mercedes, because they’re paying you guys to get the job done in a team environment.’
“At the moment it’s not a team, it looks like the drivers are doing their own thing.”
He expects it to be difficult for Rosberg and Hamilton to focus on the next race at the Monza circuit in Italy. “The thing is for the drivers to stay focused on driving the cars now, because for them it’s going to be a nightmare,” Webber said.
“The Thursday, the Friday, all the stuff out of the car, the media … and this will just keep going up.
“Let me tell you, when they get to the track, they’ll only be thinking about each other. There’s no-one else really in the race. They are really only focused on beating each other, and that’s what happens when you have a car that is so dominant.
“They are going to win the constructors’ easy, so the drivers know that the constructors’ is done, so all that’s left is the drivers’ championship.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic