Toto Wolff, the principal of Mercedes team, believes that Red Bull has gone too far when criticizing Lewis Hamilton’s collision with Max Verstappen during the British Grand Prix. However, Toto Wolff believes that both teams will be able to continue their mutual rivalry professionally.
Exclusive conversation with Motorsport.comToto Wolff reacts on the British Grand Prix events and the aftermath. Lewis Hamilton was very hurt. Red Bull’s statements after the British Grand Prix were too extreme, according to the Austrian team boss.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko denies Hamilton “reckless driving” and said Max Verstappen’s actions on Hamilton were “murderous”. He also criticised Hamilton’s exuberance and that of his team. They celebrated the win while Verstappen had to be checked in hospital. Verstappen had already made a public accusation of Hamilton for his “disrespectful” behavior on social media. Christian Horner, the team boss, said that Hamilton was guilty of a “dirty” act.
“Not Seen Before”
Toto Wolff, team boss, understands emotions were high after Verstappen’s crash but believes the Red Bull team did not express their frustrations in the right way. Wolff stated that while Wolff could imagine what Verstappen must have felt but that Wolff was unable to comprehend the statements made by the Red Bull team and how they played it, it was an order unlike anything we have seen before in the sport. Motorsport.com.
When asked about Verstappen tweeting Hamilton calling “unsportsmanlike” Sunday evening and statements made by father Jos, Wolff replied: “I understand their biases about the crash itself, and the emotion that a father feels. I would probably be the same myself, but I would have used different words.”
Peter Hain, a British Labor politician and vice-chairman of the group that represents the interests of Formula 1 in British politics, believes that Horner’s statements in particular added fuel to the fires for angry fans, and that the team boss therefore even had a part in the racist remarks directed at Hamilton after the race: “Racists had an excuse to unleash their poison and anger on Lewis, after what I believe was badly chosen, excessive and downright wrong attack on him by Christian Horner,” Hain told Press Association. Wolff isn’t going to take it that far, but he believes Horner should have stayed in his role as team boss.
“I am not suggesting that Christian implied anything of a racist nature with his statements. That’s certain. He spoke only in terms of race, and not racist terms. Christian’s statements were made in the heat of the moment, when he felt hurt. But at times like this, leadership is required of you and these kinds of violent outbursts are not appropriate.”
Red Bull Relationship
According to several sources, Hamilton would have had phone contact with Verstappen already, but Wolff has not spoken to Red Bull members since the British GP. The Austrian still plans to contact the Milton Keynes team. “As soon as emotions have settled down, we will try to rebuild our professional relationship in support of Formula 1. There were no further discussions, and they don’t have to be.
Red Bull is still considering whether it would like the incident between Verstappen, Hamilton and the FIA to be investigated further by the FIA. However, it will need to present new evidence. While GPS data indicating Hamilton’s faster lap in Copse than the rest of the laps may indicate that Hamilton is speedier, Mercedes insists this is not true. Wolff answered “This Formula 1″ when Wolff was asked if he is worried that Red Bull would take further steps. I don’t worry about any of it.”
Mercedes and Hamilton are not frightened by controversy
Wolff says that Hamilton hasn’t had sleepless nights since the British Grand Prix. This is despite all the controversy surrounding it. Although the story is polarizing, some statements made may have contributed to the worsening of the situation. But overall he feels fine.”
Wolff also stressed that Mercedes is unaffected by all the controversy. The team simply focuses on the fight in the championship: “Controversy and different opinions are good for the sport. Personalizing things is a dangerous way to go. However, everyone should think in their own way. There are many points to be shared and still a lot to go in the championship. It is up to us to take a look at ourselves and regain speed to win. All controversy is more an external factor. It is not something that affects our organization.”