'Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton should race freely'

Mercedes are right to let championship contenders Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton race without team orders, according to technical boss Paddy Lowe.

Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe has insisted that the German team are right to allow championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to race freely this season.

The long-time friends have had their relationship put to the test as both have dominated the running for 2014 drivers' title.

Hamilton and Rosberg were both upset after the Hungarian Grand Prix, where the Briton was asked to move over for his teammate with 20 laps to go. Hamilton refused and stayed in front to finish third.

Despite the frosty relations and numerous incidents throughout the season, Lowe is adamant that the Silver Arrows are correct in not employing team orders.

He told Autosport: "People at the beginning of this season were surprised we weren't running any team orders, and there was a bit of criticism against us as if we were idiots for not imposing them. By Bahrain, it was like 'you're going to have to stop it now, look what they got up to.'

"People even thinking like that is almost an inversion of how you should be, probably generated by Ferrari era [in the 2000s]. Before that era no one would have ever thought about it. Of course you're going to race, that's what you do in Formula One. It's a natural thing to do."

The pair will do battle again at next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix on the picturesque Spa Francochamps track.

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates victory with the trophy on the podium after the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at Hungaroring on July 27, 2014
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