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Rival F1 team boss’s behavior ‘regrettable’ and ‘untrue’

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Following the FIA’s intervention to address safety concerns expressed by drivers, Mercedes found itself at the center of an intense debate in the paddock.

Having raced with a second-deck stay as allowed by the FIA’s pre-event technical directive, rival teams questioned whether or not the team had been given advance notice of the changes to have them ready in time, something Mercedes insisted on. in that no.

There were then claims that the suspension was actually illegal as the FIA ​​had not changed the regulations to allow it, so Mercedes found itself at risk of an outcry if it went ahead with it for qualifying. The component was removed on Saturday after Mercedes said it had not made any improvements.

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Furthermore, Wolff believes that rival teams are informing their drivers in order to minimize concerns and not encourage the FIA ​​to act even faster on the matter.

Disagreements between Mercedes and its rivals are understood to have come to a head at a Saturday morning meeting of team principals at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, when Wolff expressed anger at others for playing political games.

Sources suggest he expressed disappointment that others were trying to gain competitive and political advantage through something that was a genuine safety concern for his drivers.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the situation and the meeting, Wolff couldn’t hide his annoyance at how things were developing.

“This is a sport where you try to maintain a competitive advantage or win it,” he said. “But this situation has clearly gone too far.

“All the drivers, at least one in each team, have said that they were in pain after Baku, that they had difficulty keeping the car on track or blurred vision.

“Team managers who try to manipulate what is said to maintain competitive advantage and try to play political games when the FIA ​​tries to find a quick fix, at least to put the cars in a better position, is false. And that’s what I said.

“I’m not just talking about the Mercedes: all the cars suffered in one way or another in Baku, and they still do here. Cars are too stiff. Cars bounce or whatever you want to call it.

“We have long-term effects that we can’t even judge. But at any time this is a security risk, and then doing little manipulations in the background, or Chinese whispers, or letting drivers know, it’s just unfortunate.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, in Parc Fermé

Photo by: Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

While the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been the most vocal about the issues they raise and hit rock bottom, Wolff thinks it’s wrong for rivals to think their drivers are talking in a bid to make their cars faster.

Wolff says many other drivers are equally unhappy with the situation, including Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

“Of course, people will wonder if my position is sincere or not,” he said. “That’s why I say it’s not just our problem. But if a Red Bull driver says you hit 300 km/h, that’s when the issue comes up, and with these problems, ‘you can lose your vision even when braking or not being able to position the car well,’ as he said. Perez. .

“Then listen to the words of [Carlos] Sainz, listen to what [Daniel] Ricciardo has said, we hear what [Esteban] ocon said, [Kevin] Magnussen and our two drivers.

“This is not a team problem. This is a design issue with ground effect cars that needs to be addressed before we have a situation, whatever it is.

“And it’s not just about putting the cars up, because putting the cars up doesn’t solve the stiffness of the inherent aerodynamic characteristics.”

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