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The F1 Monaco Grand Prix saw the escalation of tension between the two main contenders for the F1 crown this season. For neutrals, if there are any such in a sport which seems to polarise support along individual or team lines, the growing rivalry between the Mercedes drivers keeps alive interest in a season in which otherwise the only question is ‘who will come third’.
For the Mercedes team this dominance brings challenges of its own. F1 has the habit of throwing up unopposed champions, but rarely do we see two strong drivers on the top of their form within the same team. Top drivers in the top car are only going to push each other ever further away from the pack but for the leadership team the challenge is to ensure that the rivalry remains healthy and doesn’t result in team implosion. Speaking to Autosport.com, team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged this, adding “I’m 1001 per cent happy and happy that I’m controlling them (the drivers) to be happy.”
Such rivalries are not confined to F1 however. In every organisation creating the team and using the talents of every team member to drive the organisation forward productively is one of the prime leadership challenges. Manage employee engagement in the right way and who knows where teamwork and innovation will take you. Get it wrong and jobsworths, silos and bitter inter-team rivalries will drag the organisation down.