Formula One champions Mercedes are on the brink of adding another feather to their cap, with both their drivers competing for top honours while the constructors’ title is slowly coming to their grasp with every passing week.
However, tension has been brewing within the team when Lewis Hamilton openly demanded answers after sustaining another engine failure in the current season in Malaysia.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff disclosed that he has had a talk with the reigning champion about improving the off-track attitude ahead of the US Grand Prix.
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Hamilton’s bizarre action of walking out of his written media press conference, refusing to answer any questions, during the aftermath of the qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix came under intense criticism.
The Austrian team principal was quoted by Sky Sports saying: “We had a couple of conversations. It was generally about how things can be improved, not a headmaster kind of discussion.”
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He highlighted the fact that the immense pressure to perform at their absolute best sometimes takes a toll on the drivers' psyche.
“I think we underestimate the pressure that these guys are under. It's a couple of races towards the end of the season, there is all to win and all to lose. After Malaysia when the engine blew up, that was a very difficult situation for him to cope with," he said.
Wolff continued: “As cool as somebody might seem on the outside, inside it kind of eats you up. Maybe that's why the weekend was a little bit difficult for him emotionally. But he knows exactly that there's a job to be done in the car and there's a job to be done on the outside of the car and it just needs small impulse, not more, and this is what happened.”
The 31-year-old was seen pleasantly interacting with the media on Thursday’s press conference, answering every question that came his way. He was later commended for conducting himself in a befitting manner.
The British racer now has an arduous task in hand to close the gap with his teammate for the championship which presently stands at 33 points with only four races remaining in the calendar year.
It remains to be seen whether the fight for top-spot further intensifies in the weeks ahead or Nico Rosberg finally come out of the shadows of his teammate to secure his maiden Formula One Drivers' championship.