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Leclerc's defence "maybe over the line", says Wolff

NEWS STORY
09/09/2019

The tifosi had already had enough upsets, what with Sebastian Vettel's unforced spin at the Ascari chicane - the TV director insisting on showing the crowd's reaction rather than what the German was actually doing - so the idea of handing Charles Leclerc any sort of penalty for his robust tactics was surely unthinkable.

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, while sympathising with the stewards' plight, admits concern that the recent practice of giving drivers a 'yellow card', might well open the floodgates.

"They are in a very difficult situation, to come up with the right decisions, that are not always clear cut," said the Austrian.

"I know you want to have some more spicy stuff and I just said to Martin Brundle, I have enough of my own problems to solve that I don't want to have Michael Masi's problems on top of that.

"The racing was very hard, maybe over the line," he continued, "and Lewis, I think, was instrumental in not making it an incident.

"But at the end of the day, what do you do? You give a leading Ferrari in Monza a five-second penalty? Out of the question, because then we need a police escort out of here.

"There will be more cars touching," he said of the move towards giving drivers a black-and-white flag, which essentially says; 'we're watching you', "it will be more of a common practice.

"In my opinion it's going to go to the point that it will end up again in a collision, and then we're going to bail out of it again, or crawl back. This is the modus operandi. Until then, we let them race."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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1. Posted by intrepid, 13/09/2019 16:07

"I have watched international motor racing since attending the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring. I raced a TR3 in California in the late 1950s. Then held an F.I.A. International License as Competitor (Entrant) and Driver issued by the Royal Automobile Club in 1960 and raced a Porsche 356b Super 90 at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhery when I was living in Paris. I've attended the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Monaco Grand Prix several times, and the Italian, French, Dutch and Belgian G.P.s as well as the 24 Heures du Mans twice.

I have viewed and re-viewed numberless times videos of the incident between Lewis and Charles. And each time see that Charles was clearly leading Lewis into the corner and was moving gently to the right to take the racing line for the approaching left turn before aiming for the apex. Lewis should not have been so aggressive so late into that turn. Charles HAD to run off the track in order to avoid a collision with Lewis. Candidly, had I been the race steward I would not have given Charles the 'yellow card'. "

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2. Posted by Tardis40, 11/09/2019 17:18

"Take a look at Hamilton when he was LeClerc's age before pointing any fingers."

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3. Posted by equator180, 11/09/2019 2:54

"This is just Toto making brownie points backing up Lewis cries and whines as usual.."

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 09/09/2019 11:18

"@F1Nerd
My recollection is that he moved OFF the racing line to force Hamilton wide, when Hamilton was virtually alongside him. I don't have 100% visual recall & no recording of the incident, so I can't prove this one way or another. Wiser (and better-equipped) heads will undoubtedly prognosticate further."

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5. Posted by F1nerd, 09/09/2019 11:02

"Toto would not be saying anything if it was the other way round, which it has been in many other occasions in the past, Lec was ahead and had the racing line, Ham was over enthusiastic try to pass where it was not possible. Great racing and well worth watching. Keep it up guys."

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6. Posted by Stitch431, 09/09/2019 10:53

"No way as Lewis was not fully alongside yet. He could have backed off earlier. It is exactly these actions that make the races more "viewable" and if you start to punish these again, we might as well start watching a game of bridge, as then that might be more spectacular. "

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