Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Wolff ridicules rival’s “whinge” over Bottas’ pit lane spin

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff ridiculed complaints made in response to Valtteri Bottas’s spin in the pit lane, which earned the driver a grid penalty.

The incident occured during second practice in front of the McLaren garage. The team’s manager Paul James was heard complaining to FIA race director Michael Masi afterwards.

“Michael that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said James, “he could have taken our guys out there, and the pit wall.”

Bottas’ three-place grid penalty means he will start tomorrow’s Styrian Grand Prix from fifth on the grid instead of second. Wolff said he felt the penalty was excessive, and criticised those who complained about the spin.

“It’s highly entertaining how quickly some sporting directors jump on the channel to Masi and come with Armageddon scenarios,” said Wolff. “It’s good that these channels are now opened up so we can all have a laugh.”

The stewards ruled Bottas caused a “potentially dangerous” incident with his spin, which occured as he tried to pull away from his pit box in second gear instead of first. Wolff conceded there was a safety risk, but said the stewards should have taken Bottas’ good record into account.

“On the flip side of the thing, Valtteri spun in the pit lane and could have hurt somebody. And whether this is walking speed like it happened yesterday, it still can hurt somebody severely. And I understand the penalty, too.

“I find it harsh, particularly against someone like Valtteri who’s never putting a foot wrong. He was very honest and straightforward with his explanation. Any others would have come out and would have said ‘I don’t know what happened, the banner on the floor, the sponsorship on the floor was slippy and you really need to change the way you paint because I had no idea what could happen…’ He came out and said ‘I tried to optimise my starts and I lost it’.

“So we should have a little bit more integrity, like Valtteri has, around the paddock. Including some of the ones that push the button very quickly and moan about everybody else and whinge.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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43 comments on “Wolff ridicules rival’s “whinge” over Bottas’ pit lane spin”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    26th June 2021, 19:26

    “It’s good that these channels are now opened up so we can all have a laugh.”

    It’s good that Hamiltons radio is also open this season, so we can all have a laugh

    1. It’s a talent to turn every story into a Hamilton-thing.

    2. Rent free in your head. You need help my friend, are you obsessed?

      1. Does he pay you for the sucking or is it also free?

        1. He probs pays for the honour

          1. LOLz that

      2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        27th June 2021, 12:15

        Says the guy who insists on commenting on all of my comments. How ironic :^)

  2. Looking forward to Toto’s next open radio msg to Masi. I’m sure it will be thanking him for a job well done…

  3. Never thought a team principal could ever be more despicable than Ron “we’re racing Alonso” Dennis, but Toto wolff is coming very close to fitting the bill.

  4. Wow… pot, kettle, black

    1. Indeed, especially this one

      “So we should have a little bit more integrity, …. around the paddock

      .

      ROTFL when i read that one..

      1. AHahaha, me too, wolff talking about integrity?

    2. Yeah, Toto would never whinge on the radio to the FIA. Oh no wait: “Michael this guy makes us loose the position!!”

  5. I kind of agree with Wolff. Bottas spin was well away from the Mclaren pit crew because his car was on the pit lane itself and not the parking lane.

    1. Lucky for them this time.

    2. The mistake was stupid, tThe radio whinging laughable. I’d be mocking the McLaren sap as well

  6. GtisBetter (@)
    26th June 2021, 19:55

    Whinging gets rewarded, so everybody does it now and it makes F1 a bit like little children on a playground in stead of adults having a racing competition.

    1. You, sir, hit the nail on the head

  7. Paul James: “he could have taken our guys out there, and the pit wall.”
    This is so far-fetched exaggeration!
    Toto Wolff: “It’s highly entertaining how quickly some sporting directors jump on the channel to Masi and come with Armageddon scenarios.”
    I love Toto’s humour!

    1. it must have been humour indeed. Toto asking for a little bit more integrity. I have to clean my screen now. Was just drinking coffee.

  8. Broccoliface
    26th June 2021, 20:08

    Talking about himself in the last sentence i see

    1. Coventry Climax
      27th June 2021, 1:03

      Yep, takes one to know one.

  9. Tommy Scragend
    26th June 2021, 20:35

    Zip it, Toto.

    The boy who cried Wolff.

  10. One season. Only one season. All it took is one season where Mercedes are genuinely challenged, and we see the once ‘well oiled machine’ team finding reasons to whine about. I guess Mercedes have quickly understood that a challenge from RBR and Ferrari are two different things. With Ferrari challenging mercedes during 2017-2018, even most of us Ferrari fans knew that our team will most probably find ways to lose the titles . But with RBR as a genuine contender, Toto and company is genuinely sweating. No more fun sandbagging and ‘we are the underdog’ stories.

    1. They got properly nasty back in 2018, too. But with Ferrari losing the plot halfway through, and having to revert to an older car towards the end, the challenge never really held up throughout the season.

  11. Wolff’s nasty streak is really coming out, although I’ve suspected it was there for a good while already.

    But mostly it’s the hypocrisy. Again. It was him that reported Red Bull’s pit stops for being ‘too fast to be safe’. Now his car almost hit people in the pit lane after trying some trick to make stops faster.

    1. @balue It was Mclaren actually

      Reply moderated
    2. We’ve already seen this in 2018, but Mercedes’ tantrums and whines this year just confirm that the masks at Brackley can’t hold up under some competitive pressure.

      For entertainment purposes, it’s a good thing that they have dr. Marko and Christian Horner on the other side.

    3. And says we should laugh about it…

  12. Yeah – it’s funny isn’t it Wolff.
    A fast moving vehicle going out of control close to unprotected people

    Feckin hilarious.

  13. Wolff seems to overlook the part where the teams can moan as much as they want, it’s still the FIA and their stewards who hand out the penalties.

    The team principal of Mercedes questioning their judgement and independence is something the FIA will want to set straight. We all remember they were quick to bring Vettel to Paris for a ‘genuine’ apology when he openly criticized the race director.

  14. What’s glorified Paddy Lowe on about now?

  15. Wow, I wish I could walk that fast!

  16. All respect I had for Mercedes has been lost. All in one weekend. Their top 3 personalities have behaved appallingly.

    I’ve never warmed up to Max, but I hope he destroys them on track!

    1. I never had any, they only really started dominating following rule changes that suited them.

      1. @esploratore1 I think they need a bit more credit than that. They started dominating because they started work on the new engine formula early on and worked very hard to perfect it. Meanwhile Renualt seemed too busy trying to perfect the V8 despite knowing they would be going soon. I’m no fan of Mercedes (McLaren and RB for me), but the work they have put in to get to where they are is quite phenomenal, especially those back at the factory, while those who are the face of the team give it a somewhat different image.

  17. Lol. What does Bottas record (or anyone else for that matter) have to do with anything? And admitting the move was a mistake shouldn’t also be considered for a reduction of the penalty.

    Toto you’re losing it, mate. Absolutely ridiculous.

    The funniest thing is that they admit it was dangerous yet they did it anyway. If you can’t cope with the possible consequences, don’t do it…

  18. There is nothing called gratitude anymore. Mclaren crew helped Bottas to turn the car right way. If they would have stood still, then Bottas would have lost time in waiting for Mercedes crew to come and do the same.

  19. “The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill.”

  20. “El Nuevo Clásico” going off today and next week.

  21. On one hand we have Wolf supporting the new rules to slow down pit stops in the name of safety.

    Then his team tries something new, spins in the pit lane and could have plowed through mechanics and this isn’t unsafe??

    Reply moderated
  22. No danger in Bottas’ pitlane mistake but hey those fast pitstops from RedBull are super dangerous….

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