Formula 1 - Mercedes plans team orders rethink after Hamilton defiance

The Mercedes Formula 1 team is to consider a total rethink of how it lets Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg race, following the Hungarian Grand Prix team orders row.

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Formula 1 - Mercedes plans team orders rethink after Hamilton defiance
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Third placed Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates after the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest July 27, 2014 (Reuters)

Hamilton's defiance of an order to let Rosberg through highlighted the competitive tensions in the team as its drivers battle for the world championship.

But with Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda saying the orders were a mistake and that Hamilton did the right thing, a new approach may be agreed.

So far this year, Rosberg and Hamilton have been allowed to race hard wheel-to-wheel, but they have been banned from choosing radically different race strategies to prevent the kind of situation that emerged in Hungary.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes that with Mercedes well on course for the constructors' championship, the best thing for the team may be to leave its drivers completely free to do as they wish from now on.

"This is one of the thoughts we are having," admitted Wolff. "Maybe the situation is now different to the bit of paper we had at the beginning of the season.

"At the moment, we have a 170-point advantage in the constructors' championship and maybe it is a moment of loosening it a bit, in agreement with both of them."

Wolff is set to hold talks with both drivers over the summer break, and thinks that the racing protocol terms that were agreed before the start of the season may no longer work because the tensions of the title battle are ramping up.

"The longer the season goes, the more intense it gets, and the more difficult it is to beat your team-mate," said Wolff.

"At the beginning of the season it is easy to say these are the rules and this is how we are going to do it. But now it is clear: these two are fighting for the world championship.

"Maybe we have come to a point where what we had at the beginning of the season doesn't function anymore, because we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their own campaign and championship chances for the benefit of the team."

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