Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Ross Brawn has ruled out using one of his drivers as a sacrificial lamb in the Monaco Grand Prix to try to guarantee victory for his squad.
With Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton securing the front row in Monte Carlo, the team could boost its chances of a win by using one of the drivers to hold the rest of the field up while the other is allowed to break free at the front. But Brawn insists that there is no temptation to adopt such a tactic from the start, and has told both his drivers that they are heading into the event free to race each other for the win.
"The tortoise and hare strategy is one that people speculate on, but I don't think either of our drivers are tortoises," said Brawn, when about the possibility of using one driver as a rear-gunner. "We will let the race run and see what develops. Our ambition is to get a 1-2 and we will do what is sensible to try and achieve that."
Brawn suggested that although such a tactic is an obvious one for Monaco, the only way to impose it fairly would have been to discuss it before qualifying, to show that one driver was not being given preferential treatment. He made it clear, however, that no such talk had taken place with Hamilton or Rosberg about the matter.
"If you are thinking along those lines, you need to do it before [qualifying] practice and we haven't done it," he said. "So we will let the race develop and, as always, we will do what is right for the team. We will leave the drivers as alone as possible to race each other."
Rosberg, who grudgingly followed team orders in the Malaysian Grand Prix to come home behind Hamilton, said that Saturday night strategy discussions would finalize their tactics for the race.
"We are going to discuss strategy and everything tonight and then we will see what the best way forward is," he said. "It is quite complicated because there might be some people trying a one-stop, for example, and then how do they interfere with the two-stoppers in the race and things like that.
"We really need to wait and see how that pans out and have a good discussion tonight to see what is the best way forward. We need to work out how together we can make the most of it and possibly help each other out in some situations."