Mercedes boss Toto Wolff continues war of words with Red Bull over ‘personal’ comments

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he accepts emotions were running high in the aftermath of the Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, however, he has questioned the manner and language used by Red Bull.

Hamilton collided with Verstappen on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, as the pair tangled at 180mph, spearing the Dutchman into the barriers and out of the race. The 23-year-old was then sent to hospital for further checks as the race continued to unfold at Silverstone.

Hamilton eventually went on to win the race after being slapped with a ten-second penalty, however, the fallout continued with Red Bull boss Christian Horner labelling the Briton a “dirty driver,” with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko accusing Hamilton of “reckless driving,” demanding he’s hit with a race ban from the FIA.

Hamilton, unaware of the fact Verstappen was in hospital, continued to celebrate on the podium in front of his elated fans, as he cut Verstappen’s lead in the driver standings by just eight points.

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“I think you can understand that from a competitors’ point of view, the situation was upsetting,” he told Autosport. “I can understand that.

“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.”

Directly after the race and from hospital, Verstappen blasted Hamilton for being “unsportsmanlike” in his celebrations, and that the ten-second time penalty didn’t do “justice on the dangerous move.”

His father Jos, a former F1 driver, also called for the seven-time world champion to be disqualified.

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“I understand the bias on the crash itself and the emotions of a father,” said Mercedes chief Wolff.

“And I would probably be the same, but I would use different language.”

Despite the controversy of the weekend yet, Wolff said his Mercedes driver was dealing with post-race reaction well.

“I think he’s pretty relaxed about it, honestly,” Wolff said. “It is a very polarising story, and some of the comments that were made were very personal and probably inflamed the situation more. But overall, he’s good.”

“I think controversy and polarisation 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.”

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