Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg face harsh penalties should Mercedes’ “final warning” about in-race collisions not be listened to.
After their Austrian clash, the pair met with a stern Toto Wolff early on Thursday where a mysterious set of consequences for more crashes was laid out.
“Both know the consequences. They listened carefully but we will not make the details public,” Wolff told Bild newspaper. “But they know where they stand.
“This is the final warning. There are new rules in place now. We are speaking about possible sporting and financial consequences,” he added.
Crucially, however, the world champion team has shied away from its earlier threat of imposing team orders, amid speculation Mercedes has instead raised the spectre of financial penalties or even race suspensions.
“It doesn’t really change anything,” said Hamilton. “I will still race.” When asked if the deterrents put in place are “scary”, he added: “I guess I should say yes.”
But the reigning world champion later added: “The (rules) amendment, I can assure you, is very, very firm.”
Rosberg, who was booed by the crowd at Silverstone on Thursday, commented: “The message has arrived from the team and they have done a good job in bringing home the message.”
When asked about F1’s hottest topic, Fernando Alonso said Mercedes could afford to put away the idea about team orders because of its continuing dominance.
“If Ferrari or Red Bull was close to them they may have had more pressure, but Mercedes will have no problem to win the world championship,” he told Spanish reporters.