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2017 F1

Clash will not hurt long-term planning with Rosberg – Wolff

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Clash will not hurt long-term planning with Rosberg - Wolff

Clash will not hurt long-term planning with Rosberg – Wolff

Although furious after Sunday’s Austrian grand prix, Toto Wolff said events at the Red Bull Ring will not affect the contract negotiations over a new deal for Nico Rosberg.

Before Rosberg was penalised for running teammate Lewis Hamilton off the track in a last-lap incident that cost Mercedes a certain one-two, team boss Wolff had flagged a likely new multi-year deal for the German beyond 2016.

But Red Bull chief Christian Horner thinks the latest run-in between the warring silver-clad duo shows that the German squad’s driver lineup may now be “untenable”.

Wolff agreed that yet another collision between the pair was “disrespectful” to the more than 1000 people who build Mercedes’ cars.

“It needs to end,” he said. “It seems that talking doesn’t bring us any further.”

Wolff was referring to the spectre of team orders, telling German television Sky: “If they show they cannot understand how to race the car, we will have to think for them.

“Nothing has been decided but all possibilities are on the table.”

But Wolff insisted that although Rosberg is yet to sign a new contract, Sunday’s events will not affect the contract negotiations.

“We all need to cool down a little and solve this before Silverstone,” he said. “But what happened today has no influence in our long-term planning with Nico.”

Wolff also told the Finnish broadcaster MTV: “I can say clearly that it will not affect the negotiations at all.

“Nico and the team are seeking a long-term solution. Every good relationship has its difficult moments and this is one of them,” he added.

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