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Wolff: Red Bull's comments "below the belt"

NEWS STORY
30/07/2021

Though he feels comments made by Red Bull were "below the belt", Toto Wolff believes it is time to move on.

Asked about the statement issued in reaction to the FIA's decision to deny Red Bull's request for a review of the Silverstone clash, Toto Wolff was giving little away.

Though brief, the statement issued on Thursday evening was very much to the point.

"The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team welcomes the decision of the stewards to reject Red Bull Racing's right of review," said the German team.

"In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including in the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.

"We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship."

The statement was clearly referring to allegations made by Red Bull, which the FIA had referred to and noted "with some concern".

"The Stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations made in the Competitor's above letter," said the stewards in their statement. "Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the Stewards if the Petition for Review had been granted.

"The Stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed. The Petition having been dismissed, the Stewards make no comments on those allegations."

Asked what precisely those allegations were, Wolff said: "I can't, because I don't want to ignite even more the fire, and the controversy.

"I think what we need to do as a sports team is to de-escalate and not create more polarisation on social media," he added.

Asked, therefore, why Mercedes had felt the need to issue its own statement, the Austrian replied: We wanted to bring a little bit of respect back to the discussion, we understand that emotions can run high, and it is always matter of perspective and perception but we felt that that line was overstepped.

"I think the remarks that were made during and after the Silverstone Grand Prix were just elaborated further in the document," he added, "and not always looking at the incident only, but giving it a wider taste and that was, beyond other things, just a step too far."

"Words like 'amateurish' should have no place," he subsequently told Sky Sports, "and what it triggered was an avalanche of comments on social media, a lot of controversy and added to further polarisation and I think we as a sport, we should do the contrary. We should de-escalate."

Asked whether he felt Red Bull should apologise, he said: "I think everybody needs to decide whether they want to apologise or not.

"We felt that comments that were made during and after race and in written statements and in the meeting itself were below the belt. But it's not up to me, nor would Lewis want to demand any apologies."

Check out our Friday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 01/08/2021 2:01

"In defence of Verstappen...If the media spend 99% of their time regurgitating the episode what do you expect?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by West York, 31/07/2021 11:32

"meanwhile, in another article on this website:

"...Insisting that HE wants to MOVE ON from the controversial Silverstone clash, MAX VERTAPPEN remains critical of his rival's post-race celebrations..."

"

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3. Posted by Tardis40, 31/07/2021 4:25

"If you believe it is "time to move on" then why are you still commenting?

Seems to me it's really "time to get the last word in".
"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by jcr, 30/07/2021 20:55

"Dont forget you are talking about "The Greatest racing Driver Of All Time" Toto.
Have to say very unpro of Merc to get involved in Tit for Tat."

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5. Posted by @R1Racing71, 30/07/2021 19:56

"In the meantime, Ken Tyrell and Colin Chapman are Turing in their respective graves.
To quote the great Sir Frank Williams “this is motor racing not flower arranging”"

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by flyinglap, 30/07/2021 19:19

"What comes to mind after two weeks of all this, in particular from the Mercedes camp represented by Toto Wolff and Sir Lewis Hamilton, is the term "passive aggressive". I do have my own view on the "incident", but what's done is done, and I do hope that they give it a rest now. Besides, they can revert to their usual 'we do not have the best car', 'we are concentrating on 2022', 'Red Bull is too strong for us' etc (yet they are 'miraculously' fastest, even with Bottas who may be keen to make a 'statement' before some announcement concerning his future is made shortly)."

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