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Merc will put 'sensitive' Hamilton 'back in shape' - Wolff

ESPN Staff
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is confident Lewis Hamilton will get over the events of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend and is happy to allow psychological games to continue between his two drivers.

Tension between Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg upped a gear at the Monaco Grand Prix, with Hamilton saying that he and Rosberg were just colleagues and no longer friends by the end of the weekend. The major flash point occurred during qualifying when Rosberg took to the escape road at Mirabeau, ruining Hamilton's quick lap and ensuring he took the crucial pole position that led to victory.

The events of the weekend appeared to affect Hamilton more, but Wolff said "it always takes 12 hours" for his driver to calm down after a race. He believes Hamilton is the more sensitive of the two, but is confident Mercedes can keep him in a happy state of mind for the duration of the season.

"Lewis is a very sensitive person and a very competitive person," Wolff said. "I think one of our duties is to understand what the drivers need, protect the drivers and make them function at their best. If they function at their best, that's the best for the team. Both of them are very different and need a completely different environment, and I think we have a pretty good understanding of what Lewis needs and how we can put him back in shape."

Ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton made comments about being the hungrier of the two Mercedes drivers because he had a more difficult upbringing than Rosberg. Wolff said such mind games would be tolerated going forward and expects both drivers to try to gain every possible advantage in their championship battle.

"This I would qualify as being part of the little psychological games you are allowed to do. If you have a difficult upbringing maybe you are more hungry, but I guess if you are the son of a world champion and you have been brought up in Monaco and you make it to being a grand prix winner, you must be a tough character as well because you have a lot of odds that went against you.

"But let's not finger point. I think they are both very competitive and will try to gain every advantage. It's up to us to manage it."

Wolff said he works alongside executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe and non-executive Chairman Niki Lauda to try to calm the tension between the drivers.

"Mostly it's Paddy and myself because we come from different angles. Niki is very important because he almost has a mentoring function for Lewis. He's a three-time world champion and that is important for Lewis. We all have different roles."

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