Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, attacked Red Bull, stating that had the roles been reversed, Mercedes would not have been as quick as Red Bull to make scandalous accusations after the opening lap incident at the British Grand Prix.
While Wolff admitted Mercedes would have responded similarly should the roles be reversed, he also defended the exuberant celebrations post-race, a result of Lewis Hamilton winning despite a 10-second penalty.
“I’ve never had a glass of wine with Dr. Marko and I can think of a few other people I’d rather have a glass of wine with,” Wolff said, jokingly, when asked about his relations with Red Bull advisor and compatriot Dr. Helmut Marko. The latter earlier called for the suspension of Hamilton due to what happened on Sunday.
“Everyone has a different perspective and everyone has to communicate that in their own way. Maybe we would have done it differently, but I don’t see it as criticism. Everyone should do what they think it’s the right thing.”
As F1 heads for the summer break, tensions are at an all-time high between the Red Bull and Mercedes camps, and Wolff expressed his composure, stating that he was not phased by it. Despite their Silverstone incident, Hamilton expressed his desire to reconcile with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after Sunday’s incident.
“We knew Max was doing well because his team principal, Christian Horner, had radioed to [Michael] Masi that his driver had crawled out of his wreckage, thank God and that there were no injuries. We have adjusted our response accordingly,” Wolff explained.
“Emotions ran high, of course. If we had been in Red Bull’s shoes, we would probably have looked at the situation in a similar way,” Wolff added. “The difference would be that we wouldn’t be so quick to make accusations.”
Wolff made it clear that he felt Red Bull was personal with their accusations and that he felt it was unprofessional, despite the severity of what could have happened on track.
“I think you can understand that from a competitors’ point of view, the situation was upsetting,” Wolff admitted. “I can understand that. Nevertheless, the language that was used, and making it so personal, was a level that we have not seen in this sport before.”
“We have to accept that everyone has a different opinion,” Wolff concluded.