Hamilton “relaxed” despite never-before-seen level of personal attacks
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described Lewis Hamilton as feeling “pretty relaxed” despite the personal attacks that followed his controversial collision with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton came under fire from all inside Red Bull in the wake of the lap-one incident that sent Verstappen hurtling into a tyre barrier at 150mph, from which he fortuitously escaped with nothing more than a stiff neck.
In the immediate aftermath of his eighth British GP triumph, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner described Hamilton as “desperate” and “dangerous”, with his move on the inside at Copse regarded as “amateur”.
Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko suggested Hamilton should be suspended for what he perceived his “dangerous and reckless behaviour”.
Via a tweet, Verstappen declared Hamilton “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike” for his celebrations while he was in hospital undergoing scans and checks.
Verstappen’s father Jos also waded in by claiming the seven-time champion should have been disqualified for an “unacceptable” attempt at an overtake.
Reflecting on the spite towards Hamilton from Red Bull, Wolff said: “I think you can understand that from a competitors’ point of view, the situation was upsetting. I can understand that.
“Nevertheless, the language that was used, and making it so personal, was a level that we have not seen in this sport before.”
Assessing Hamilton’s mood, speaking to motorsport.com, Wolff added: “I think he’s pretty relaxed about it, honestly.
“It is a very polarising story, and some of the comments that were made were very personal and probably inflamed the situation more. But overall, he’s good.”
Wolff explains reason behind Hamilton celebrations
Wolff has further clarified why Hamilton celebrated his triumph so exuberantly, even though Verstappen was in hospital at the time.
“It’s important to understand all the feedback that we received,” said Wolff.
“We had the feedback from senior management of Red Bull that Max was fine. Christian [Horner] mentioned it to [F1 race director] Michael Masi on the intercom that he’s unharmed and fine, and the FIA gave us similar feedback.
“So at no point would we have celebrated if Max would have been injured. And I think that’s very important to understand.
“Lewis asked, even in the car as he was passing the accident, whether he [Verstappen] was out of the car. He got the response that he was out of the car himself.”
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July 22, 2021 at 06:19PM