Wolff denies Mercedes will punish Hamilton

Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions Mercedes will sanction Lewis Hamilton for ignoring team orders in Hungary.

Wolff denies Mercedes will punish Hamilton
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with injuries sustained in a cycling accident
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Start of the race, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W05
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference

Although it was potentially explosive, the German team closed ranks after the incident but rumours persisted that the 2008 world champion will be punished behind closed doors.

"Something like that will not happen," boss Wolff is quoted by Der Spiegel.

"We are all adults -- we just have to do a better job next time."

Indeed, Mercedes is admitting its own culpability after repeatedly asking Hamilton to slow down to let Nico Rosberg - on a different strategy - pass him.

Roberg, cool about it - at least in public

The typically non-controversial Rosberg has quietly admitted he thinks Hamilton's defiance cost him the win, but otherwise he is playing a cool hand as usual.

"I will not respond just because you want me to," he told German reporters. "It's not my style to respond. The title race will remain intense until the end, but I'm looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Lauda and Horner on Hamilton's side

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda backed Hamilton after the race, while Wolff admitted that Mercedes may have to rethink its approach to team orders in light of the intensifying battle.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, whose Daniel Ricciardo won in Hungary, also thinks Hamilton was right to ignore the order.

"You can understand Lewis," he said. "He's fighting Nico. If he lets him run his fastest strategy, it puts him under pressure.

"It's entirely understandable from Lewis' point of view to say 'not today thanks'."

In the calm of Monday, Wolff basically agreed.

"When two teammates become the main rivals for the championship," he said, "it is clear that every decision taken by the drivers and the team is affected by a climate of very heavy emotion.

"Many decisions in Budapest were made under pressure," Wolff is quoted by Italy's Autosprint, "with little time to evaluate them thoroughly.

"It is now evident that we are in a situation where we cannot ask one of our drivers to damage himself for the interest of the team.

"The message to Hamilton was probably wrong, but it was a very difficult time to determine what was right and what was wrong."

shares
comments
Who drove the best race at the Hungaroring?
Previous article

Who drove the best race at the Hungaroring?

Next article

Villeneuve makes comments 'for the headlines'

Villeneuve makes comments 'for the headlines'
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022