Nico Rosberg says his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton made things “extremely difficult” at Mercedes, so much so that the team had to introduce “a code of conduct”.
“We made it extremely difficult,” Rosberg told Sky F1.
“It went to the point that we had a code of conduct, a paper, what we were allowed to do in a wheel-to-wheel battle.
“Even penalties with a lot of zeros on them attached to that because there was no other way. It just got too heated and too extreme.”
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“I think Toto has learned so much from the fight Lewis and I had and managing us. That’s helping him a lot now in managing George coming into the team because it’s very difficult.
“You don’t want to cut his wings completely but you want to tell him ‘don’t crash into Lewis’, so it’s a very fine line. But I think Toto is getting that right brilliantly at the moment.”
However, the German does acknowledge it’s easier to do so in a situation where they are not involved in a fight for the title.
“Obviously there’s less heat when you are racing for 11th and 13th places rather than first and second all the time and you’re fighting for a championship.
“So that will definitely make the team situation internally, in terms of the battle between the drivers, easier at the moment to manage,” Rosberg concluded.