Toto Wolff thinks there is a possibility Nico Rosberg's recent revival has been triggered by a new "angry" mindset adopted in the wake of his Austin clash with Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg took pole and the victory for the second consecutive race in Brazil, holding firm against Hamilton through Turn 1 in the process. It is a stark contrast to Austin, where Rosberg was muscled out of the lead by Hamilton at the first corner, before a late mistake from the German gifted his Mercedes team-mate the points he needed to wrap up the title.
After the U.S. Grand Prix Rosberg said Hamilton had gone "one step too far" with his aggressive early manoeuvre.
Asked if Rosberg had been stung into action by Austin, Wolff speculated: "Maybe. It is a personal guess. Maybe a different pro-active dynamic approach. But I don't know.
"I have said that he was driving in anger and I am not sure I am right, it is just what I think. But I could be wrong. Nico is still developing as a racing driver and you can all those Turn 1 incidents had a pretty similar pattern, where you position yourself with the car and you can see that. If you are the outside car you just need to give up, you see that in many races.
Explaining the turnaround further, Wolff thinks Rosberg has just been quicker at the last three races -- including Austin, where his late mistake cost him the victory.
"I think both drivers know what we expect of them and the responsibility they have towards the team. It is about positioning you in the right now. That is not only on track, it is off track also in having the right attitude, but I would say fundamentally if you look at Austin, or look at Mexico, or look at Brazil, it was his sheer pace that decided the race. And at the end it all comes down to the stop watch. If you are the quicker guy out there you qualify on pole and you win the race."
With Hamilton already world champion some have speculated the English driver has nothing left to race for in 2015. Wolff says ultimately only the drivers know their motivation at this stage and has no doubts they will both reflect on the final races over the upcoming winter break.
"I think racing drivers are a different kind of species. I have no explanation for you. You could say that Lewis won it all, he has achieved his target. The adrenaline is maybe not as high as it was before and Nico is driving without pressure. But I am not sure they know, but both of them will spend time over the winter reflecting what happened at the end.
"One important thing is you can see his class now. And we have always tried to say that Nico's class and performance is important to make Lewis perform as he did and to make the car faster and the team to progress, and Mexico and Brazil was a good example of that class."