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Wolff won't add to Vettel penalty debate

NEWS STORY
25/06/2018

In the wake of yesterday's French Grand Prix, Mercedes chief Niki Lauda was clearly incensed at what he considered a meagre 5s penalty handed to Sebastian Vettel for the incident which effectively destroyed Valtteri Bottas's race.

Asked if a 1-2 had been possible, the Austrian told Sky Sports: "I think we could have done, and why Vettel only gets five seconds for this enormous mistake I don't really understand. It is too little.

"There is more time they can give them," he added. "That is what I mean. Five seconds is nothing. He destroyed the whole race for himself and Bottas."

Colleague Toto Wolff remains a little more understanding however.

"To be honest Sebastian misjudged the situation, took himself out of the race and lost valuable points. So, it bites them both," he said.

"Whether five seconds is sufficient or not I don't want to judge that," he added. "They both were last at that stage of the race so there was damage enough.

"The damage was quite extensive because it damaged the floor and Valtteri's comments on the car was that it was "shocking" to drive afterwards," revealed Wolff. "Taking that into account, it was a battling performance from him. But, it ruined his race."

Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, and a result that saw the title lead swing back to Lewis Hamilton, Wolff is taking nothing for granted as the triple-header continues.

"I think what you saw in Montreal compared to Le Castellet is that marginal gains matter," he said. "We fell back in Montreal because we couldn't bring the new power unit. We were racing the first power unit for the seventh consecutive race while the others had upgrades, so that certainly didn't help.

"We're also constantly learning how to set the car up in the right way in combination with the tyres. And, of course, we brought some upgrades for the car which was good to see coming together.

"All these gains in the respective areas added to a solid step which we could realise in just a few days."

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