Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen each need to take a portion of blame for their collision at the start of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton tried to pass the polesitter down the inside into the high-speed Copse corner, but his left front hit Verstappen’s right rear and pitched him into the barrier where he recorded a 51G impact. Verstappen was taken to hospital for precautionary checks while Hamilton went on to secure a comeback win despite a 10-second time penalty. The Mercedes team principal says it wasn’t all one driver’s fault.
“It is a situation that I guess we all have seen in the past when great drivers race with each other,” Wolff said. “When nobody is prepared to give in, then these kind of situations can happen. But for me it takes two to tango.
“I think if that would have been a low- or mid-speed corner then it wouldn’t have been a big debate what the consequence for that was — a five- or 10-second penalty — or less of a debate. But it was a high-speed impact — it is a corner that takes lots of guts to even take flat alone, and when two cars are trying to drive through it they need to leave each other space in order to make it through the corner and that wasn’t the case.
“The stewards think 10 seconds was appropriate, I guess because both drivers were part of the accident, not one alone. It’s always much more nuanced.”
When it was put to Wolff that he will need to defuse the situation after Silverstone given the criticism Hamilton is receiving from the Red Bull camp, he disagreed, stating a Senna vs Prost-style rivalry would be good for the sport.
“I mean everybody has an opinion, and that’s OK. Of course every team will have a certain bias towards incidents like that.
“Why (defuse it)? You would love that, no? It’s a lot to write about! I’m ready, let’s go for this.”