Following Lewis Hamilton’s pole position in the Qatar Grand Prix, Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff slams ‘trash talk.’
Toto Wolff has slammed paddock politics in the build-up to the Qatar Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ CEO, has slammed paddock “trash talk” during the Qatar Grand Prix, after Red Bull questioned the legality of Mercedes’ rear wing in the desert, where Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen to pole position.
Wolff and his Red Bull teammate Christian Horner were at odds again over the weekend, with a long-standing feud erupting on Friday during an FIA press conference.
Red Bull claims that when driving down the straights at high speeds on track, the supporting surface of Mercedes’ rear wing deforms, reducing the W12’s drag.
Despite not filing a formal protest with the FIA, Horner stated that they would be keeping a close eye on their main title rivals, adding that the FIA has taken the initiative and will test all rear wings after qualifying.
Mercedes claims their car is fully legal and compliant with FIA regulations, and Wolff told Sky Sports F1 that the car has “overtaken some of the track action this weekend,” with Red Bull and Mercedes locked in a tight championship battle.
“I believe there is a little too much emphasis on politics and off-track trash talk.”
“I believe we need to focus on what’s going on on the track,” Wolff said to Sky Sports F1.
Hamilton won pole position ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix by 0.455s, trailing Verstappen by 14 points with three races remaining.
“I think everyone in the performance group, the ones running the simulator and working on the setup center track team, they did an amazing job,” he continued.
“We have a much better understanding of the car now.”
It’s starting to come together now that the drivers have a better understanding of how to set it up.
“However, in Mexico, you can see how quickly things can change.”
It was all tears, and we were dominated the following weekend, so you just have to be cautious.”
With three races remaining, Hamilton needs to close a 14-point driver standings deficit to Verstappen in order to reclaim the championship from the seven-time world champion before the season ends.
Wolff believes it’s a good after a strong showing in Mexico.
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