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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

“Diplomacy has ended” after Brazil F1 “punches within the face”

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Lewis Hamilton took victory at Interlagos after recovering from exclusion from qualifying on Friday over a technical breach to chop Max Verstappen’s championship lead.

Hamilton was stripped of his quickest time in qualifying and despatched to the again of the grid for Saturday’s dash race after the DRS on his automobile failed the FIA’s post-session test. Mercedes known as the choice “harsh”, noting that teams would ordinarily be able to repair such an issue under parc ferme conditions, however didn’t enchantment.

Within the race on Sunday, the stewards opted in opposition to investigating Verstappen for an aggressive defensive transfer in opposition to Hamilton at Flip 4 when he ran the Mercedes off-track to remain forward – a decision Wolff called “laughable”.

Requested if he thought Mercedes was being handled equally to different groups, Wolff mentioned that whereas he didn’t need to complain, he felt the time to be diplomatic on issues had now ended.

“I don’t need to moan right here, as a result of that isn’t how I see the game,” Wolff mentioned.

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“I believe we’ve simply had many, many punches within the face this weekend with selections that would have swung both aspect, in opposition to us or for us.

“When all the time the choices swing in opposition to you, it’s simply one thing that I’m simply offended about, and I’ll defend my workforce, my drivers to what comes.

“I’ve all the time been very diplomatic in how I talk about issues. However diplomacy has ended immediately.”

Toto Wolff, Crew Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, within the storage

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff added that he was content material to permit strikes corresponding to Verstappen’s if the rulebook allowed them, however felt that readability was required.

“Regardless of the guidelines are, if the foundations say that’s on, which I’d like to, that it’s on, then that’s effective,” Wolff mentioned.

“I’m not discussing the precept of laborious racing.

“Onerous racing is tremendous, and needs to be on. However not when it’s been clarified earlier than that you would be able to’t drive any individual off the monitor.”

After the race, Hamilton was summoned once more by the stewards for undoing his seatbelts on the cool-down lap, resulting in a fine for the seven-time world champion.

There was additionally intrigue from Red Bull surrounding Mercedes’ rear wing design given its impressive straight-line speed, however no protest was lodged.

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