Bernie Ecclestone believes Toto Wolff’s comments about sidelining either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg if the pair fail to get on harmoniously in 2016, is nothing more than an empty threat.
The Mercedes motorsport boss recently said if the pairs relationship boils over the team “would not maintain the long-term set-up with the [current] drivers”.
Many saw it as a threat aimed directly at Hamilton, rather than Rosberg, but Ecclestone questions whether Wolff would seriously consider dumping one of the team’s best assets.
“No, definitely not,” he told Sky Sports when asked if he believed Wolff would go through with it.
“He’s [Hamilton] got a contract, so he can hardly be set aside and I can hardly imagine a person who runs a team would want to get rid of one of their best assets. I don’t believe it.”
The 85-year-old hinted that replacing Rosberg would be a smarter move, as when asked if having Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo or Fernando Alonso alongside Hamilton at Mercedes would be better, he said: “Well, it would probably be a lot better.
“I know they had probably a second, second-and-a-half a lap in their pocket these last few races.
“It shows you Lewis has been able to use that and Rosberg obviously hasn’t. He used it in the last three races because Lewis I think was sleeping.”