Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff backs the stewards after Sunday’s penalty.
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff feels sympathy for Sebastian Vettel after Sunday’s F1 Canadian Grand Prix win was taken away from him by a controversial penalty but backed the race stewards in their decision.
Seven straight wins from seven Grand Prix, Mercedes should be having their praises sung from the top of the paddock buildings, but the decision from the steward’s office caused an uproar and the reaction of Wolff showed exactly why opinions are split.
“I think, if it would have happened to me, I would have kicked the damn board and thrown it against the car,” said Wolff. “Emotions are logic and are good for the sport and I think it’s one of the typical decisions that is a controversial one.
“I’m of course biased towards Mercedes and say that there’s a rule which says you need to leave a car width when you go off the track and I think his instinctive reaction was to say ‘I need to protect that position’, and maybe that was a tiny bit too far.
“If you are a Ferrari fan or someone that’s keen on hard racing, you’d like to see something that was a little bit more of a bumper car mentality.”
Asked whether he would be saying the complete opposite and jumping around with rage if the positions were reversed and one of his drivers had been penalized for the same thing, Wolff continued, “You have never seen me jumping around and I think the stewards up there, particularly the race stewards, need to be supported.
“There is Emanuele (Pirro – driver steward) up there, and they don’t come more professional and experienced than Emanuele and I think they’ve looked at the incident and that needs to be respected. We shouldn’t ignite it anymore.
“I’ll give you another example. In Monaco, Valtteri (Bottas) was squeezed against the pit wall (by Max Verstappen) and I think the five-second (penalty for that) was a bit lenient. We didn’t complain about it, you just take it. Sometimes decisions go against you, sometimes they go in your favor.”
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