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Toto Wolff predicts season-long battle between Hamilton & Rosberg

"I think you are probably going to see the same thing again this season," Mercedes team boss says.

Toto Wolff Nico Rosberg

Toto Wolff reckons there’s more to come from Nico Rosberg after his victory in the Spanish GP and that F1 should prepare itself for another season-long battle between him and Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg had spent the first four grands prix in the shadow of Hamilton, who won three times, claimed pole position at every race and opened up a 27-point championship lead.

However, the German hit back when he needed to in Barcelona, with Rosberg qualifying on pole before taking the chequered flag comfortably ahead of his Mercedes team-mate.

Even though Hamilton has arguably been in the best form of his career, Rosberg said he hasn’t change his own approach – and team boss Wolff agrees he has no need to.

“They are mentally very strong, both of them,” he said after Sunday’s race. “And I think as much as we would like to find a dynamic that is pro or against a driver, they come out very strong even after a bad weekend or a defeat. After the debrief is over, they concentrate on the next one.

“We’ve seen it last year. We have spent time talking: ‘Is that now Nico on the run, has the balance swung more towards him, or is it now Lewis?’

“I think you are probably going to see the same thing again this season, two drivers who are matching each other, trying to outperform each other.

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“For us as a team it’s really a good situation, because it lifts the performance of the whole team, and it’s the best case.”

Mercedes' Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton said he was in “damage limitation” mode at the Circuit de Catalunya: having qualified second to Rosberg, he lost another place at the start, and was slowed further at his first pit stop.

Unable to find a way past Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, Hamilton eventually moved back up to second after Mercedes switched him to a three-stop strategy.

“The result feels like P1 and P1,” Wolff added. “Because on a three-stop with a compromised start, a compromised pit stop, finishing P2 is really great driving from Lewis. Both of them were faultless and it is extremely satisfying that we can pull it out even when things are not running perfectly.

“The pit stop compromised Lewis’s race a lot. We have to analyse it but it looks like a problem with the wheel gun.”

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