(GMM) Driver hierarchies do not work in Formula 1, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Although Lewis Hamilton would seem to be number 1, Wolff insists that Valtteri Bottas has "always" been able to race his teammate from the beginning of each season.
He said hierarchies should only form naturally "resulting from performance".
"Both drivers always have the same options at the beginning of the year," said Wolff. "We want to offer our drivers the opportunity to win the world championship."
Wolff is referring to the fact that Ferrari and Red Bull seem to see things differently, especially after the Maranello team replaced Sebastian Vettel with Carlos Sainz for 2021.
But he believes Spaniard Sainz will not be intending to play second fiddle.
"The young (Alex) Albon will also want to make a name for himself," Wolff added, referring to Verstappen's teammate at Red Bull.
"You should never imagine that a number 1-number 2 situation like that works because every racing driver has the ambition to win. They would not be Formula 1 drivers otherwise."