Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff acknowledged the raising tensions between his team’s drivers, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and British compatriot George Russell.
Wolff went on to say that it was quite natural at the highest level where there is a lot at stake and there was nothing to lose sleep over.
The racing team encountered multiple issues with their W13 car this season as issues of porpoising and certain other technical issues persisted in the car well into the start of the season.
Such issues hampered Hamilton’s early performances this year before he found a steady footing in recent races.
On the contrary, Russell has been one of the most consistent drivers this season and has a twelve-point lead over his teammate.
Russell is currently placed fourth on the drivers’ rankings with 158 points to his name, while Hamilton is in the sixth position with 146 points.
Wolff said that he was wary of the growing tensions between the pair and opined that it was only natural at the highest level.
He mentioned that both the drivers had found common ground in the challenge they faced in driving the W13. He went on to say that the biggest opposition Russell and Hamilton had to deal with this campaign has been their car and its reliability issues.
“I think the biggest opponent for George and Lewis was the car, not the team-mate or other drivers. And that was certainly advantageous in some respects."
He touched upon the efforts that his team and the drivers put in to remedy the machine which was considered undrivable by many at one point in the season.
“They used different solutions and set-ups, even a lot on some occasions, with the aim of exchanging impressions and useful information to come out of the situation we experienced,” said the Austrian.
“When the objectives become races and Championships, I will be able to tell you whether the respect I see today between the two will prove to be a predominant factor,”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads the drivers’ table in this year’s standings with 258 points, followed by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari on 178. Sergio Perez of Red Bull is placed third on the rankings with 173 points.