May 29, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
The Mercedes team battle of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton has been compared to the Ayrton Senna/Alain Prost rivalry with McLaren in 1988 and 1989, but according to Mercedes’ Toto Wolff, that’s an incorrect comparison.
“There have been a lot of comparisons to the Senna/Prost scenario, which is a kind of compliment to both Lewis and Nico,” the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport president said on the team’s official website, “but the situation here is very different.
“The racing philosophy of Mercedes-Benz is to allow our drivers to compete: we let the boys play with their toys, unless they break them.”
Thus far they haven’t – in fact only a mechanical failure for Hamilton at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix has been the only time where a Mercedes hasn’t finished first or second this season. They have amassed 240 of a possible 258 points this season.
In Bahrain, Hamilton and Rosberg engaged in a titanic scrap for the lead, but didn’t overstep the boundaries. The battle reached its zenith at Monaco this past weekend with Rosberg’s qualifying mistake, Hamilton’s less than positive comments about it, and Rosberg controlling the race from start to finish.
Niki Lauda has vowed to get them back on civil terms before the Canadian Grand Prix next weekend.