Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff left the Brazilian Grand Prix ‘angry’ despite Lewis Hamilton’s heroic victory on Sunday, as the Englishman clinched his 101st race win of his distinguished career.
Hamilton – who started Saturday’s sprint qualifying race dead last – began the race back in 10th after another engine change, but still managed to fly past his rivals, including title nemesis Max Verstappen on his way to one of the great Formula One victories.
The win was a vitally important one for himself and his team, as he moved closer to Verstappen at the top of the driver standings, whilst further cementing Mercedes’ lead in the constructors’ leaderboard.
Despite this, team principal Wolff was still left unhappy in Sao Paulo due to a number of tight decisions – including Hamilton’s disqualification on Saturday after breaching DRS rules during qualifying – going against Mercedes.
Discussing whether he felt his team were being unfairly treated, Wolff said: “I don’t want to moan here because that is not how I see the sport.
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“I think we have just had many punches in the face this weekend with decisions that could have swung either side, against us or for us.
“But when all those decisions swing against you, it is just something that I’m just angry about.”
As well as the Englishman’s contentious disqualification from qualifying, many Mercedes fans also felt hard done by after Verstappen failed to receive a penalty after it looked as if he reared Hamilton off the track.
Despite a review from the stewards, they felt the Dutchman’s actions were not against the rules, meaning if Hamilton was to go and win it would have to be via his own merit, which he eventually did.
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However, the treatment of his team over the weekend in Sao Paulo has led to the Mercedes boss admitting that he feels ‘diplomacy’ had been lost in the sport following Sunday’s battle.
He continued: “I will defend my team, my drivers, to what comes. I have always been very diplomatic in how I discuss things but diplomacy has ended today.
“And by the way, whatever the rules are, if the rules say that [hard racing] is on, which I would love to, then that is fine.
“I’m not discussing the principle of hard racing. Hard racing is super and should be on, but not when it has been clarified before that we can’t drive somebody off the track.”
Wolff also discussed in more detail the near miss between Hamilton and Verstappen, which resulted in both drivers rearing off the track as the Dutchman looked to defend top spot.
As a result, he went on to accuse the Red Bull driver of ‘going over the line’ following his actions, saying: “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.”
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