After Lewis Hamilton articulates his feelings about his strategy in no uncertain terms on team radio, Toto Wolff knows that teams are the void through which anger is expressed and that it is part of the game.
Hamilton was in the box seat to claim victory at the Dutch Grand Prix, but Max Verstappen and George Russell behind him stalled on soft tires under safety car conditions leaving him exposed on the old, stiffer tires once the race resumed.
He was quickly overtaken by both Verstappen and Russell, before Charles Leclerc doubled his misery and finished Hamilton off the podium in a race he was supposed to win.
“I can’t believe you guys ****** me,” Hamilton said candidly of his late strategy over team radio. “I can’t tell you how I r *****.”
Hamilton’s words are not uncommon among drivers and teams across the field, according to mercedes Team boss, knowing that having two angry drivers in his ear is part of cutting and pushing Formula 1.
“You get emotional, and so am I in the race,” Wolff told reporters, citing Motorsport.com. “And when you’re a driver in the car, it gets out of you. You can’t even stop it.
“We are the trash, the vomit bag on the plane, and we take it all because we need to. That’s how it has always been in the relationship between a frustrated driver and the pit wall.”
The former seven-time world champion admitted he had reached an emotional “breaking point” at the moment as he was left as a sitting duck at the start of the second half, and Wolff added that it was just a case of a risky strategy coming back to bite Hamilton later. on me.
“We sat down together and discussed racing strategy,” he said. “It was something we decided this morning to take a chance on.
“It really backfired for him. I think in general the circumstances, I think Max behind him and things like that, was quite annoying. But there’s more positives to take. And that’s what we talked about as well – that the car is faster .”
Did Lewis Hamilton need to apologize to Toto Wolff and Mercedes?
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Hamilton’s anger was justified in the course of the race, but in the end he would have likely lost his position on the track if he chose to dig behind the safety car.
Wolff’s words about the strategy itself make sense because of the ramifications for both drivers, knowing that at least one of them will be pissed off making a decision at any point – as evidenced by Russell taking his strategy into his own hands by ordering an extra stop for soft tires and Which eventually helped him finish P2.
“It’s very difficult to make the right decision and especially if you have two drivers who are also competing against each other there,” said Wolff.
“We’ve been through ten years of this — one will be upset and one will be happy. And these are the ups and downs we need, in a way, to balance and acknowledge frustration on one side that is always big.”
It was noble Hamilton raises his hands and apologizes Because of what he said, but it’s hard to argue that he should have kept his feelings when the race victory was on paper for him for the first time this season.