Despite dropping 48 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the title race, Toto Wolff is convinced Nico Rosberg is not out of the fight nor has he given up.
Last time out in Japan, Hamilton claimed the 41st victory of his Formula 1 career while Rosberg could only manage second.
The German had to bounce back from a lap one tussle with his team-mate, which resulted in him being pushed wide and dropping to fourth on the track.
With the odds of a third World title firmly in Hamilton’s favour, there have been some suggestions from the likes of David Coulthard that Rosberg is lacking in both aggression and intent.
Wolff, however, is adamant his driver has by no means given up.
“The way I see him and the way I feel where he is, he has not given up,” said the Mercedes motorsport boss.
“There is no way a driver will give up unless it is not mathematically possible any more. This is what I see in Nico’s case, with his character.
“Of course, we try to maintain a good relationship in the team and not have any animosity and sometimes when a driver appears to be nice it is seen as a weakness, but it is not that at all.”
Wolff also denied claims that Rosberg is too quick to back down in a straight fight against Hamilton.
“We have seen races, in Bahrain and Spa, but it also shows how close they fight with each other.
“I wouldn’t want to say that there is a tendency that when they fight, it is Lewis that comes out better. That is definitely not the case.”
He added: “We try to maintain a good relationship in the team and not have any animosity – this is when a driver appears to be nice and that it is seen as a weakness.”