Hamilton and Rosberg Rivalry Interesting for Mercedes
Team Mercedes may have created a monster of sorts, with the team of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominating the F1 circuit last year. Hamilton has won the overall title two years in a row and is the favorite heading into the new season that starts in March in Australia. Rosberg was second in the standings a year ago, and there seems to be a rivalry developing between the two drivers. That leaves team boss Toto Wolff in a position of having to handle the rivalry and at the same time keep his team on top. It is just one aspect for those betting on F1 racing.
Hamilton had dominated the sport of F1 racing for a few years since he became the youngest ever champion at age 23 in 2008. But his domination has flourished the last two seasons i particular. In 2014 he won 11 races and the title. In 2015 he carried on with his dominance with 10 wins, and the first British person to win back to back titles. Hamilton declined to take the No. 1 for his car for a second time, sticking with his traditional number 44.
His teammate, Rosberg, is certainly no slouch. He is the son of 1982 champion Keke Rosberg, so the comparisons and interests were inevitable. Rosberg joined the Mercedes team in 2010, and has finished second to Hamilton in the championship run two years in a row. He won the final three races last year, and that is when the rivalry started to become more public. These two are the clear favorites among those gambling on f1 racing.
This has left Wolff pondering how to handle the two drivers. Thus far they have raced as a team, and he has controlled what they did to some extent. He is considering giving them more freedom as far as strategy and how they drive the race.
“I want the dominance to continue but if it were to continue like this I need to think what we do so we do not become the enemy,” Wolff said in a BBC article. “Maybe it’s about unleashing them completely. Give them their own strategy.”
Thus far the lead driver, who is Hamilton, gets first choice on the timing for pit stops. This would keep the other driver from getting an advantage by taking on new tires and perhaps taking the lead away because of that. The system reduces the chances of the drivers changing position and eliminates that part of strategy. The idea of letting them make their own choices could make the races more entertaining but it could also benefit other teams.
Allowing the drivers to compete more freely could put a crack in Mercedes’ grip on the circuit, and it would force the crews of each driver to be in competition with each other. He has said he would consider changing drivers if the rivalry gets to the point that it affects the team. Hamilton is clearly the start, and 2016 is the final year of Rosberg’s contract, making it one interesting aspect to follow this year.