Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has shared his displeasure towards Red Bull for their comments after the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
After Sunday’s crash, the majority of the Red Bull team has spoken out against Hamilton’s driving. Verstappen expressed in a tweet that Hamilton’s post-race celebrations were disrespectful to him as he was in the hospital. Helmut Marko went up to the extent of calling everyone at Mercedes blind for supporting Hamilton’s case for the crash. While Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner also chimed in with his opinion calling Hamilton a ‘dirty’ driver.
Peter Hain, vice-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on F1 was first to highlight the ill-mannered comments made by Red Bull.
“Racists had an excuse to let fly their vitriol and evil at Lewis after what I thought was a very ill-judged, intemperate and plain wrong attack on him by Christian Horner.
“I am not suggesting that Christian was implying anything racist in what he said. He was talking in pure racing terms and not racist terms and that is obvious.
“I hope it was something said in the heat of the moment when Christian was feeling aggrieved. But these are moments when leadership is required and not intemperate outbursts.”
Given the nature of these remarks, Wolff responses will be important for the rest of this particular title fight. Wolff was understanding the anger felt by Red Bull, however, he was disappointed with the absence of professionalism after the race.
“I think you can understand that from a competitors’ point of view, the situation was upsetting. 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,” Wolff told Motorsport.com.
“I understand the bias on the crash itself and the emotions of a father, and I would probably be the same, but I would use different language.”
It is important for the two teams to remain rivals and yet, maintain professionalism in Formula 1. The dynamic nature of the sport forces teams to be on good terms with each other. Wolff shared this opinion: “I think once the emotions are down, we will try to restore our professional relationship for the sake of Formula 1. But beyond that, there were no discussions, and don’t need to be.”
Wolff was also asked if British driver, Lewis Hamilton was alright after the incident and its social media backlash. Wolff was quick to reveal that Hamilton was not too bothered by the polarization of this incident.
“I think controversy and polarization is a good narrative and good content for the sport. Where it spills over into personal animosities, it’s where you’re overstepping the mark. But again, everybody needs to judge how he wants to do it.”
The championship is still a long way to go, and there are many, many points to score.
“We just need to look at ourselves and try to regain some performance in order to fight on pure pace for race victories. The controversy is more an external thing and not something we perceive as impacting the organisation internally.
Red Bull team principal as well as team advisor, were planning a further case to take to the stewards in light of this. Wolff divulged on explaining that this was not worrying him simply because it is how Formula 1 is.