Saturday , November 27 2021

Mercedes’ fury at ‘laughable’ Formula 1 call

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the decision not to penalise Max Verstappen over an incident with Lewis Hamilton during the Brazilian Grand Prix was “laughable.”

The two championship rivals went wheel to wheel on lap 48 of the race in Sao Paulo, as Hamilton tried to pass Verstappen around the outside of Turn 4.

READ MORE: Mitchell Marsh’s three ball onslaught at T20 World Cup

READ MORE: World Cup batting masterclass hailed as ‘one of the best’

READ MORE: Hamilton’s horror F1 weekend ends with remarkable glory

Although there was no contact between the two, both cars ran off the track, with Hamilton left with no choice but to run wide as Verstappen failed to make the corner.

Stewards noted the incident, but decided not to investigate further.

Hamilton won the race, cutting Verstappen’s championship lead to just 14 points with three races remaining.

It was a weekend of controversy for Mercedes, which saw Hamilton disqualified from qualifying for a rear wing infringement.

Wolff’s fury extended to the fact that Red Bull was allowed to change Verstappen’s rear wing after qualifying without penalty.

“We had a broken part on our rear wing which we couldn’t look at, couldn’t analyse, failed the test, and after disqualified, very harsh,” Wolff said.

“And then you see on the Red Bull repairs, three times in a row on a rear wing whilst being in parc ferme with no consequence.

“That’s one thing, and obviously that really peaked with the decision in the race, which was, I mean, really wrong defence from Max, absolutely an inch over the limit, but he needed to do that to defend.

“Lewis just managed it even more brilliantly by avoiding the contact and end the race that way.

“But that was just over the line, it should have been a five-second penalty at least. Probably Max knew that. Just brushing it under the carpet, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s just laughable.”

Wolff stopped short of suggesting the stewards were favouring Verstappen, who is looking to end Mercedes’ run of seven consecutive world titles.

“I don’t want to claim anything on the stewards,” he said.

“I think they have a difficult life anyway. And they are only there to lose, whatever decision they take, one team is going to be grumpy. In that respect, I don’t want to be in this chair.

“But in a certain way, when you’re taking punches all weekend, and then you have such a situation on top of everything, you’re just losing faith in a way.”

Speaking on Sky Sports immediately after the race, Hamilton seemed to suggest any investigation would be a waste of time.

“When they said they were going to investigate, I just knew the decision they were going to come to, whether it was right or wrong,” he said.

“I didn’t let it faze me, I just kept racing.

“I’m not gonna go into that. I need to look back at it, but I mean, it’s a racing incident at the end of the day, probably.

“It doesn’t really matter, as I got the result I needed.”

Had Verstappen been given a five second time penalty, he would have dropped to third behind Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, sacrificing a further three points in the championship race.

It’s the latest in a string of incidents between the arch-rivals, most notably a crash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix that saw Verstappen taken to hospital, and again at the Italian Grand Prix when both drivers were eliminated from the race.

The battle resumes later this week with the first ever Qatar Grand Prix.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

About admin

Check Also

Leverkusen plan to keep hold of in-demand teenage star Wirtz

Leverkusen plan to keep hold of in-demand teenage star Wirtz

Wirtz’s deft chip set up Moussa Diaby’s late winner in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Celtic …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.