Formula 1: Wolff rages after punishment: “Trifle, no rule break”

After Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from qualifying for the Brazilian GP, ​​sports director Toto Wolff made no secret of the mood at Mercedes on Saturday: “F *** them all!”, Wolff radioed the seven-time world champion into the cockpit after Hamilton in the sprint from 20th rushes forward to fifth place. “It wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular, it was more about the general mindset: tough circumstances are best met with resilience,” Wolff explains his verbal outburst of emotions.

The fact is: Mercedes feels treated unfairly by the disqualification due to a non-compliant rear wing. Wolff explains why: “It’s sad because there is actually a clear procedure in Formula 1. The matter shouldn’t have ended up with the stewards if they had followed the modus operandi of many years. “

For Wolff, the fact that the race management took a close look at the Mercedes wing is “an unusual process that such a minimal offense, which is actually a trivial situation, is passed on to the stewards in the first place. For the past few years it has always been like, ‘Fix this and fix this.’ We saw that last weekend at Red Bull, for example, and many times before that too. But we were not allowed to do that. “

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Wolff reveals what was going on with the wing: “It was clear that there was no rule violation here, that we had an illegal wing. Rather, we suffered damage in qualifying that expressed itself in such a way that the left side and the middle were okay and we failed on the right side by 0.2 millimeters. That means that we actually had a performance disadvantage. “

When the matter was first on the stewards ‘table, Mercedes’ boss can understand the action taken by the law enforcement officers: “They then probably only have a black and white solution for it. Nevertheless, it took almost a day until the next afternoon, only then did this shock result. “

Wolff did not want to believe the disqualification at first: “I thought Ron Meadows (team manager; d. Ed.) Was joking when the message came on WhatsApp.” in the sense of a disqualification, very surprised: That you risk intervening in a World Cup fight like that. Perhaps one can expect more indulgence, but there wasn’t. Instead, the guillotine falls and it says: ‘You are disqualified.’ ”

Toto Wolff is angry and sees his team treated unfairly

For Wolff, that changes the pace in the final spurt of the World Cup. His declaration of war on rival Red Bull: “We will now also take a closer look at the others, look at every single tape that someone falls off in the race. I can promise that we will ask a lot of questions in the next races! “

Wolff is disappointed with the handling of the World Cup fight and pushes the buck in the direction of Red Bull and FIA: “There was once something like a gentlemen’s agreement. Obviously there are no longer any gentlemen, which is why there is no longer any such thing. “

Because Wolff is also dissatisfied with the procedure after failing the test. “We couldn’t even look at the grand piano or check it, so we couldn’t argue because we never had access to it,” explains the Viennese. Wolff is therefore unable to provide precise conclusions about the cause of the defect, but suspects “a loose screw. That definitely only happened during qualifying because we tested the wing ourselves beforehand. “

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Despite the many doubts, Mercedes did not protest the stewards’ decision. The reason: “Then we could lose all points (for the entire weekend; d. Ed.) If the protest is rejected,” says Wolff. In this case, Hamilton would have been allowed to start the sprint from pole with reservations, but the race result would have been negotiated afterwards at the green table. A scenario that Mercedes wanted to avoid.

“We want to win this World Championship on the track,” Wolff clarifies, but also admits: “We’re more than 20 points behind, Lewis starts tomorrow in tenth, Max in second. There is no need to be under any illusions: we are definitely the underdog. But after today I really enjoy it, there is nothing left to lose. “

When looking at Verstappen’s involvement in the rear wing case and the punishment for the Dutchman, Wolff is even joking: “I think someone like him, with a solid middle-class salary, doesn’t itch the 50,000.” Nevertheless, Wolff shows himself as a sportsman: “In the end, he probably didn’t do anything there or only gave the car a caress, that’s okay. But it is a parc fermé violation and certainly very difficult to judge. In this case I don’t want to be in the shoes of the stewards. “

From 20 to P5: Lewis Hamilton with a crazy show in the sprint

With a view to the Grand Prix, Wolff’s sprint on Saturday is encouraging. “Lewis did 16 overtaking maneuvers in just 24 laps. It was nice to forget politics for a moment and watch great racing. Lewis proved with his drive today that he can compete for victory tomorrow. “

Especially since Hamilton could have started a maximum of sixth anyway due to his engine penalty on Sunday. Now, despite the huge vortex and the disqualification, he is only four places behind. The Briton is also combative. “It’s far from over,” he radioed from the cockpit and later added: “My goal was simply to get as far as possible. The team cleared the matter with the stewards today, I tried to concentrate on my job and not think about the other. “

At Red Bull, the analysis of the 50,000 euro fine for Max Verstappen is shorter. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko: “That was tough, but it doesn’t hit the poor.” Verstappen himself wishes the FIA ​​a “nice dinner with a nice wine.” This also shows that the mood between the FIA ​​and Red Bull is better than between the FIA ​​and Mercedes. Another advantage in the world championship fight?

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