Start, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Wolff expects no repeat of 2016 collision between “respectful” Hamilton and Bottas

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In the round-up: Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff does not expect a repeat of the first-lap collision which put both Mercedes drivers out at the start of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.

What they say

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton share the front row of the grid for today’s race but Wolff believes they will give each other more respect than Hamilton and Nico Rosberg did three years ago.

Everybody knows that lap one is very important in Barcelona, it can be race-decisive. But the two have been so respectful with each other on and off-track that we are in a very different place than we were in 2016.

We completely acknowledge that there is rivalry between the two of them and that rivalry will intensify the longer the championship goes if it is between them and this is just something we must address in a transparent way. Like on any other given Sunday we will chat [in the] morning and chat about scenarios, play a few videos.

They know, Lewis has been there and Valtteri has always been very open that he acknowledges the hard work of the team that’s been going on and both of them have been really great in respecting the effort that’s been going into the team’s work. Therefore it’s very different than 2016.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Does Max Verstappen deserve a better car than he’s got?

I honestly feel bad for Verstappen. He’s looked like the only driver capable of dethroning Lewis with the right machinery… and I think the championship will be a heck of a lot more interesting with Verstappen at the front.

But I just don’t see that happening at Red Bull. There’s a high possibility of Red Bull will eventually make the best chassis on the grid, but you need either a Mercedes or Ferrari-level power unit to win championships. Honda will always hold Red Bull back, despite all the false praise that is being spread in the media.
@Todfod

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 24 comments on “Wolff expects no repeat of 2016 collision between “respectful” Hamilton and Bottas”

    1. Unfortunately, I believe, there is a great chance for Lewis Hamilton and Bottas to get tangled on lap 1. LH hinted that he was “too respectful” of Bottas at Baku. I suspect he will be much more aggressive at the start in Barcelona. If that happens, Leclerc will win. 🤞🏼

      1. Indeed, when mercedes drivers crash a young driver wins his first gp!

      2. I think the pressure is on Hamilton to an extent that a lot of people underestimate.

        Yes he is battling Bottas for the 2019 championship, but good luck being held in the same esteem as Senna, Schumacher and Fangio when you’ve lost two titles to your team mates, and those team mates are Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas (with all respect). Senna also lost to a team mate, but that was to another great in Alain Prost, and Schumacher lost to Rosberg when he was 41-43 years of age. Huge difference.

        I would not be surprised if that is on his mind, and it is eating away at him. There is more than the 2019 title at stake here.

        1. how about that, Bottas wins WDC, does a Rosberg, Hamilton is frustrated and does a Montoya, Merc needs two new drivers 2020

          1. ColdFly (@)
            12th May 2019, 8:08

            And Wolff does a Todt, and Mercedes does a Toyota.

            1. @coldfly i believe spending millions on millions without ever winning anything is no longer an option here

        2. Well, it is easy to counter that by three different guys in a year at Benneton ‘Irvine, Barrichello, Massa’, all as 2nd driver with odds against so Schumacher wasn’t bothered by his teammates. Senna is a different matter, but since Hamilton is a great fan, hardly an issue to be seen as maybe not as great.

          Rosberg, Bottas (Button?!) only show that Hamilton had teammates that were given a good chance, and needed very hard work, and some fortune, to beat him.

        3. DAllein (@)
          12th May 2019, 8:20

          You are completely wrong.
          If you follow Lewis as a fan, you would know.

          1. I do follow him as a fan.

            Do you care to put forward a rebuttal, or is blanket rejection now a valid argument?

    2. Oh dear, WCC championship is done and dusted.
      Ferrari is Finitori.
      Well at least we still have Val upsetting Lew.
      Lewis seems very rattled LOL. The only fun part for 2019.

      Val for WDC for some fresh air.

      Toto we really need your plot honestly, keep it up!

    3. Lewis seems so casual in interviews after he messed up quali. Like he doesn’t care at all.

      1. DAllein (@)
        12th May 2019, 8:25

        He grew up.
        What’s the point in being overly concerned or beat down about P2?
        He knows what he can do, he knows what Valtteri and team can do, he just goes and does his stuff.

        Some try to say that he is under pressure – he is not. First, because he has no reason to be under pressure, second – we are only at 5th race…

        So he just relaxes and enjoys the racing.

      2. Its an act, bet hes seething inside!

    4. That board swap for the F3 race – savage!

    5. Both Racefans.net’s tweet’s, though, savage, LOL.

    6. Lots of kids read your excellent site Keith, many of whom are Verstappen fans. Please asterisk out the bad language.

      1. Don’t be absurd, leave the sanctimonious pc-ness to Liberty.

      2. ColdFly (@)
        12th May 2019, 8:11

        Without that ‘bad language’ there wouldn’t be any kids at all :P

          1. ColdFly (@)
            12th May 2019, 8:24

            S*x**l *nt*rc**rs*
            @phylyp &@verstappenkidfans

    7. I agree with the comment of the day. What F1 currently needs is a battle between the 2 most talented drivers of their generation, Hamilton v. Verstappen. Unfortunately the Red Bull Honda isn’t there yet in terms of performance. Maybe Mercedes can help Honda like they helped Ferrari with their engine development in 2015.

    8. DAllein (@)
      12th May 2019, 8:27

      Stupid Verstappen is showing his intelligence and temper, and maturity. As always miserably fails.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        12th May 2019, 9:35

        Maybe his race engineer is called Dick and he was merely asking him to set up a man-date with Lance.

    9. Doesn’t everyone say that about Stroll? c’mon,

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