Mercedes doesn’t implement team orders (yet)

No team orders for Mercedes drivers yet
No team orders for Mercedes drivers yet

Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton remain free to race at the British Grand Prix, following "positive" meetings, though the team has strengthened its 'Rules of Engagement' relating to on track battles.

Rosberg and Hamilton collided for the third time in five races on the final lap in Austria, after a clash in Spain, which eliminated both drivers on the spot, and minor contact at the first corner in Canada.

Hamilton escaped to victory at the Red Bull Ring, but Rosberg, who had moved into the race lead, dropped back to fourth with a damaged front wing, meaning his title lead was cut to just 11 points.

Rosberg was later penalized by the stewards for causing the incident, and driving a damaged car.

Mercedes held crunch talks at its Brackley base between rounds and ultimately decided to keep its 'free to race' policy, though with "greater deterrents" and a warning that team orders could be implemented.

"This morning at the headquarters of the Mercedes Formula 1 team in Brackley, UK, positive meetings were held between Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg," read the statement.

"Our drivers were informed that they remain free to race for the World Championship.

"We believe this is the essence of Formula 1, including between team-mates. As passionate racers, we want to see them racing, and so do the fans of Formula 1.

"However, this freedom comes with a duty for our drivers to respect the values of the team.

"In the past five races, there have been three incidents which have cost us over 50 points in the Constructors' Championship.

"We have therefore strengthened our Rules of Engagement to include much greater deterrents to contact between our cars.

"With these in place, we will trust our drivers to manage the situation between them on track. Their destiny is in their own hands.

"The drivers were also reminded that we may issue instructions during the race to protect against a potential loss of Constructors' points, such as we did at this year's Monaco GP when Nico was instructed to let Lewis pass.

"If the drivers do not honor the revised Rules of Engagement, we may impose team orders as a solution of last resort.

"Finally, we restated our belief in Lewis and Nico as the best driver pairing in Formula 1."

Since pairing up in 2013, Rosberg and Hamilton have together claimed a total of 43 races and 40 further podiums finishes, along with two successive double world titles.

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