Wolff unimpressed by Cirque du Soleil marshals antics


Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff has described the removal of Lewis Hamilton's car from the track following his crash in FP3 as something akin to Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian contemporary circus.

The Austrian was speaking after Hamilton's stricken W14 was hoisted by crane high into the air, thereby allowing fans, media and rival teams to clearly see the underside of the car, in the eyes of many the holy grail of F1 design seeing as an estimated 60% of the car's overall performance comes from that particular area.

Within moments, pictures of the underside of the W14 were splashed around social media to the frustration of the Mercedes boss.

"I mean, honestly, I don't even comprehend," he sighed. "The car was on the road, you could have put it on a truck, rather than showcasing a car to everyone in the world. That was sub-optimum for us, to say the least.

"Whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil," he sighed.

While it is 'traditional' that cranes are used in Monaco due to the tight confines of the track which mean few run-offs and escape roads, the marshals did appear to make a meal of removing the Mercedes, particularly as the session had been red-flagged and wouldn't resume.

Adding to Wolff's frustration was the fact that when Sergio Perez crashed in Q1, though his RB19 was also lifted by crane, thereby exposing the underside of the championship-leading car, the car was kept relatively flat, whereas the W14 had been allowed to tip due to the weight bias at the rear.

Nonetheless, like the Mercedes, the Red Bull has hoisted several storeys into the air, allowing residents of the various trackside apartments to get a real close up.

"Checo's car was the same?" asked Wolff, of the RB19's removal from the track, the Austrian allowing himself a slight smile. "I didn't see that.

"So they are all from Cirque du Soleil."

However, the Mercedes boss was keen to make it clear that he didn't want to make a fuss, and wasn't suggesting any sort of foul play by the marshals.

"By the way, don't thrash the stewards,," he said. "The Cirque du Soleil is okay but everybody's doing their best and I don't want to be a team principal that lashes out at stewards that are doing their job."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Monaco here.

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Published: 28/05/2023
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