At a press conference in Stuttgart. Mercedes’ Wolff says the team owes it to F1 to let the pair remain rivals on the track.
We are stakeholders in Formula One. A good show is essential for the sport. We want lots of fighting on the track. And the rivalry between these two guys is important. Our role is to step back a little and leave it up to these two to fight it out in the track.
The two drivers, who have barely talked this year exchanged some words:
Hamilton: I think when I first got [into the car] I was like, ‘Jeez, I’m old’, because I have been doing it a long time. Physically when you get in the car each time it gets harder and harder.
Rossberg: Physically harder and harder? Getting old? What is the reason?
Hamilton: I have seen some grey hairs on you. You know how it is, you’re only six months behind me.
Mercedes releases a video showing Hamilton’s seat and driving position.
It’s moulded to my body, so there’s no room for movement.
Hamilton presents his car’s 2016 steering wheel. He says that he helped design the wheel, cutting 250 grams by slicing off the base of the handgrips where they meet the centre puck, unnecessary due to the way he holds the wheel while racing. There’s a large central display as in previous years, buttons for brake bias, DRS, pit lane speed limiting, three manettinos for engine/fuel strategy, engine mapping, and a central multifunction dial that influences everything from tyre swaps in the pits to cruise control.
I’m really proud of it actually, because when I joined this team, I took a lot of pride in trying to work with the engineers to lose a lot of weight in the wheel.. When I joined we actually had a big steering wheel…there was no need to continue connecting the bottom of the grip to the central part of the wheel…My favorite buttons are the marker button, for any issues I have, to remind me when I come back to analyse the data; the DRS and the pit buttons, and those to adjust the braking.
Hamilton presents the 2016 Mercedes F1 W07.
And here we have my new baby. This is the vessel that’s going to take us to the championship. Even though they’re all similar, there’s a pretty huge leap in development, and that’s the name of the game.