Toto Wolff was left angered by the decisions that went against his Mercedes team at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, calling the lack of a penalty for Max Verstappen’s move “laughable”.
Verstappen forced Lewis Hamilton off track at Turn 4 as the defending champion tried to overtake on the outside, with both cars running wide and rejoining with the Red Bull still in the lead. FIA race director Michael Masi opted not to investigate the incident as he felt it was acceptable under the philosophy to let the drivers race as much as possible, but Wolff called it the “top of the iceberg” after also seeing Hamilton disqualified for a rear wing issue in qualifying.
“I mean the whole weekend went against us, we had a broken part on our wing which we couldn’t look at, couldn’t analyze, failed the test, got disqualified, very harsh,” Wolff said. “Then you see Red Bull with three times in a row (fixing) the rear wing while being in parc ferme with no consequence. That’s one thing.
“That really peaked with the decision in the race, which was really wrong defense from Max. Absolutely an inch over the limit, but he needed to do that to defend and Lewis just managed it even more brilliantly by avoiding the contact and ending the race that way. But that was just over the line and should have been a five second penalty at least, Max probably knew that, but just brushing it under the carpet is just tip of the iceberg, it’s laughable.”
Wolff admits the way the weekend at Interlagos panned out left him struggling to contain his emotions as he didn’t feel Mercedes was fairly treated.
“I don’t want to claim anything on the stewards, I think they have a difficult life anyway, they are only there to lose, whatever decision they take one team’s gonna be grumpy,” he said. “And in that respect I don’t want to be in this chair, but in a certain way when you’re taking punches all weekend, and then you have such a situation on top of everything, you’re just losing faith, in a way.
“I don’t want to moan here because that is not how I see the sport. I think we have just had many punches in the face this weekend with decisions that could have swung either side for us or against us but when it swings against you it’s something I’m just angry about.
“I will defend my team, my drivers, to what comes, I’ve been always very diplomatic in how I discuss things but diplomacy has ended today. And whatever the rules are, if they say that’s on, then that’s fine. I’m not discussing the principle of hard racing. Hard racing is super, and should be on, but not when it’s been clarified before that you can’t drive somebody off the track.”