As the going gets tough in the title fight between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, Niki Lauda believes the Mercedes driver now deserves the full backing of the team.
Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix saw another two-way battle between the men at the top of the Drivers' standings, leaving third-placed Valtteri Bottas adrift in their wake.
The Finn's relative under-performance at Spa may now entice Mercedes to label Bottas its de facto 'number 2' in order to put all chances on Hamilton's side.
"You can only beat an opponent like Ferrari when everything fits," says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
"We do want to keep ourselves open for all the options as long as possible, and we also know that there is no manual for dealing with these problems.
"Ferrari has the luxury of one driver being clearly ahead of the other, so for now we will decide on a race by race basis," he added.
"Let's see after Monza."
While Wolff may want to wait one more race before deciding on an inner-team hierarchy, Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has already made up his mind on the matter.
"This giving away of points must stop now," he said, clearly referring to Hungary when Hamilton pulled over for Bottas to honour a policy of driver equality.
"I was champion by half a point, so I know exactly how important every single point is when you count them in the end," the triple world champion insisted.
"I know exactly what we need to do. Bottas did not have a strong weekend at Spa so it is already clear that Lewis has a better chance for the championship.
"If Lewis had not given away those three points in Budapest, he would now be only four points behind Vettel," Lauda said.