In a Formula 1 season that saw Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finish in first place and third place respectively, Mercedes thinks the two drivers need to stir things up.
Mercedes F1 boss, Toto Wolff, thinks there needs to be a little “disruption” between Hamilton and Bottas in order for the team to compete at the highest level, according to motorsport.com.
While Mercedes had two of the top three drivers, Hamilton had the championship secured well before the final race of the season. Wolff said he wants both of the drivers to be in contention for the title.
“I don’t think we need to avoid a stressful situation,” Wolff said. “We need to acknowledge that, if two teammates can fight for race wins and a championship, that this will be a rivalry.”
Wolff also went on to say there needs to be stress, tension, and disruption in order to have the most effective racing team.
“We are not trying to build a new family here, we want to be the most effective racing team,” Wolff said. “An effective racing team needs stress, needs tension, needs disruption as much as it needs calmness and a positive attitude and mindset.”
Bottas didn’t get off to the best start in 2017, but was able to turn things around, to finish in third place. Bottas effort to get back in the mix didn’t go unnoticed by Wolff.
“The best ones are the ones that recover from bad moments,” Wolff said. “And maybe in a few years we will look back and say this was an important moment for his racing.”
Bottas won the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi, over his teammate Hamilton, who finished in second place.
I think (it was) very important,” Wolff said. “Because he had a very strong qualifying session and a very strong race that he was in control of all the time, fair and square racing between him and Lewis.”
Wolff hopes closing out the season with a win, especially one over the championship driver, should provide a boost in morale heading into next season.