Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton crash, Monza, 2021

Drivers need to be discouraged from taking out rivals – Wolff

2021 F1 season

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says Formula 1 drivers need to be discouraged from deliberately tangling with rivals to prevent them scoring points.

He made his remarks in the wake of Sunday’s collision between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, which put both drivers out of the race. Wolff originally described the move as a “tactical foul” on Verstappen’s part after he had fallen behind Hamilton during their pit stops.

“For me what we need to avoid in the future is taking each out tactically because you know you’ve lost the position,” said Wolff.

The stewards held Verstappen responsible for the clash on Sunday, handing him a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix. But although they found Verstappen was “predominantly” to blame for the collision, they did not suggest the contact had been deliberate.

Speaking before the verdict was announced, Wolff said: “Tactical fouls in order to make sure that the other guy doesn’t win is something which you need to get under control.”

“How, I have no idea,” he added.

However Wolff conceded he was more inclined to see the contact as deliberate because his sympathies lay with his own driver.

“I didn’t say that [Verstappen] was completely to blame or an absolute judgement on the incident,” said Wolff. “What I said is that one could see it as tactical foul with the bias that each of us needs to just acknowledge. We don’t want to have situations in the future where one loses the position and the only way of stopping the other one scoring is just by taking him out.

“Both of them need to leave space for each other, race each other hard, but avoid accidents. Because it was good fun until now, but we have seen a Halo that saved [Hamilton’s] life and Max had this heavy impact in Silverstone and we don’t want to come to a situation to intervene when somebody gets really hurt.”

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133 comments on “Drivers need to be discouraged from taking out rivals – Wolff”

  1. Well that’s what the penalties are for. I assume with the cost cap the teams will be enforcing their own rules of engagement.

    1. As if drivers follow up..

  2. It’s seemingly only Mercedes employees and those with a pro England or anti Max bias that see Monza as a “tactical foul”

    It’s seemingly only red bull employees and those with a pro Dutch or anti Lewis bias that saw Silverstone as anything but a battle between two great drivers

    Accidents happen within the sport, especially when racing wheel to wheel. The accusations and tribalism has become a little silly.

    1. The accusations and tribalism has become a little silly.

      Good for clicks though, hence the increasing amount of ‘milking’ articles here.

      1. +1 Glad I’m not the only one who wonders if the readers over here are supposed to do the entire discussion again under yet another article on the same subject.

    2. Totally agree, these political statements from Merc and RBR need to be toned down. We enjoy the racing, not the childish finger pointing!

      1. I honestly dont enjoy racing decided by crashes. i enjoy racing where both drivers are on the limit, yet have the values of a sportsman and give us amazing skilled overtakes, not games of chicken were one or both drivers end up crashing. I can do that, we dont need the “Best drivers in the world” to do that.

    3. @djarvis

      Sadly agree. The growing tribalism between the two is very tiring, sad and far from welcoming. When the crash happened I promised myself to avoid the threads for a week because of it but I’m weak and sadly its the same drivel when the two are at it. The two teams, their managers and highly polarized fans love to rant, be vindictive and its ugly.

      The 1-2 finishes and win @ Monza by McLaren deserves way more accolades, press and celebration. The whole F1 community wins when teams like McLaren come back from the dark days and challenge dominating teams for wins and win! We’re having some of the best and tightest racing throughout the grid that we have not seen in many years, lets try to enjoy that while we can, rather than focus on the two children fighting. We only have maybe 6-7 races left before this is over and have new chassis that could make one team dominate like we saw in past recent years. Let’s all try to just enjoy these few races we have left.

    4. It might be a tactical one, or not. Just like it was on silverstone the other way around. It balances out nicely , doesnt it :)

    5. But they are pertinent and absolutely accurate. The driver of the lead Red-Bull car
      was behaving as he always has when confronted with powerful and entirely legitimate
      opposition. I do not need, nor do any other commentators need to read the bloody
      writing on the wall. Arrogance begets confrontation, begets crisis.

      Harsh responsive strictures by legitimate authority then become compulsory.

  3. Here’s a thought: we take away the win at Silverstone and the points scored at Monza for each driver that got apportioned the blame in the incident. I’m sure Toto will embrace this deterrent wholeheartedly. Actually it would be fairer to take the damage to the car and deduct that from the cost cap .. and apply the grid penalty the “victim” receives from taking on new power unit parts to the driver at fault.

    Ok Toto?

    1. >take the damage to the car

      One strike with a sledgehammer to the left sidepod during the next pitstop. Now that would be fun! 😄

    2. That sounds as a nice solution :)

    3. Sounds like punishment, but no reward for appropriate driving – how about extra points tied to the position they were in when they avoided race ending contact?

  4. Maybe he should have told Lewis that before the Silverstone main race.

  5. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    15th September 2021, 8:43

    Even if Verstappen did that, the tally is still 2-1 for Mercedes; Bottas in Hungary and Hamilton in Silverstone. And one could argue that Bottas also took Perez out of contention making it 3-1.

    Wolff is turning into a very unlikable character which is worrysome for the Mercedes-board. You don’t want a company be represented by a massive tool.

    1. 5 to 1 actually as Hamilton bumped Albon out of podium finishes twice.

      1. Correct.

        But now that others might also be doing it, it should stop.

        1. Exactly this is why I dislike Hamilton and his team. They do 50% of their fighting off track with PR twists. I really really feel that has no place in sports period.

          1. And RB don’t? The rhetoric from Horner at Silverstone was way OTT, and he insinuated that it was purposeful, too (even though it would have been a stupid move to make on purpose, with a high chance of taking Hamilton out, too, which would have been worse for Hamilton than Verstappen).

            TBH Both teams are as bad as each other, both for the rhetoric and for “tactical fouls”. Take Perez at Monza: It’s fairly obvious the team chose not to give the place back as they should have because they felt the small time penalty they would receive would not be as costly as giving the place back. That’s deliberately breaking the rules because the punishment is less harsh than following the rules, aka a “tactical foul”. OK, it isn’t deliberately crashing (which neither did, IMHO), but it is still purposely cheating.

            Both TPs need to shut up and stop escalating the situation. They are making it all worse by exaggerating, which is picked up and amplified by their fans, and we are likely to see more crashes because of this.

          2. I agree. RB does it as well but they do it so poorly and clumsy it doesn’t hurt other teams or driver reputation. It’s merely a circus element added by a 4 year old team manager. I would almost call it entertainment. Unwanted eventually, I agree. Mercedes’ narrative is much more thought through, strategic, viline (nasty polished) and effective, which makes it more harmful and dangerous. It influences the championship, which should be reserved for on track actions.

          3. @Maryton

            So, because RB are, in your opinion, terrible at PR and public speaking, they should be able to say whatever they want? Because, of course, nobody parroted Horner’s claims, nobody took them seriously… Except the hundreds of Verstappen fans who took to this site and others quoting Horner verbatim and still bring up his ridiculous arguments on a regular basis.

            I don’t think the Mercedes comments are any more “nasty” than the RB ones. It’s possible they are more effective at times, but is it really their fault if they are good at something that RB are, supposedly, bad at?

            Both are in a position of power, both equally need to calm it down and stop winding up their fans and their drivers, just the same as their drivers both need to calm it down and race cleanly. We want to see close racing, but few want to see these 2 playing bumper cars on a regular basis, and fewer want to see Toto and Horner spewing nonsense.

    2. Ok, to get even, bump the Mercs in the 5 next races and then stop

      Wolff is way beyond abomination by now

      1. No longer in touch with any reality nor capable of self reflection it seems

    3. why start the tally there? max has been moving under braking and bashing into other cars for years. dont be daft. ask the “Best drivers in the world” to stop driving into each other because that means they are utter rubbish drivers. it happens too much. maybe take the safety devices away and bring the walls closer/gravel traps. im so tired of the messy and desperate racing. pathetic.

  6. Ugh.. the stuff coming from Horner and Wolff is just nasty. The framing is going too far now. He’s not saying it but insinuating Verstappen did a Schumacher/Senna there. But what he is achieving is the other camp will only point harder at Silverstone. Upping the pressure for no good reason. Instead, he should be happy with the 3 place grid drop. It seems to me that penalty will have a bigger impact than the 10 seconds in Silverstone. And therefore I’m hoping for a nice big foot-in-mouth moment later in the season for both Horner and Wolff. Crying for a penalty for the other team but end up shooting themselves in the foot.

    1. Yeah, as others have said, Lewis has caused more issues over the last couple of years than Max. It’s the pressure Merc are under I think, loss of judgement. Both teams need sitting down and told to keep it civil, really.

      A bit of pantomime cheeky comments are OK, but some things come across as a bit much.

    2. The ease with which Wolff and other senior Mercedes figures put forward insinuating statements as though they were fact, omit elements of the story that don’t suit their agenda, and then frame a discussion by jumping to the ‘solution’ to their crafted story line, only to then hide behind a ‘I didn’t say that!’ distraction, is very off-putting and even somewhat troubling, especially because they’re quite skilled at it.

      Horner on the other hand is too much a Red Bull showman to pull something like that off. He goes for the loud and provocative response, which elicits a short term for/against cheer, but nobody really thinks he’s putting forward a serious argument.

      1. I agree. While both characters need to be removed from the sport yesterday, within the pr mindgames Mercedes operates at a much higher level than the interns responsible for PR at RedBull. I yet have to see them build a decent car, but hey they are busy with spreading nonsense. I feel Max deserves a better surrounding.

        1. I feel Max deserves a better surrounding.

          I will strongly agree with you there. TBH, so does Perez, and so did Albon and Gasly etc. In fact, everyone does. Red Bull looks, to me, like a terrible “team” to be involved with, full of back biting, cattiness, and general nastiness.

  7. Bore off, you incredible hypocrite. Your driver won, and took far more risk, and danger, in making a move earlier this year, which had a far worse effect. People in glass houses.

    1. @hahostolze yeah, but Verstappen did steer into Lewis both times. Lewis is entitled now to steer twice into Max in races if we want to be fair. So anytime Lewis is behind, if he takes out Max, it’s fair game. The worst that can happen from the stewards is that Max gets a 10 second penalty if Lewis ends up out of the race or Lewis gets a 3 grid penalty if he divebombs into a corner.

      1. Especially for you: if the corner turns left a driver should turn left as well.. sounds. Logical no? Likewise if the corner turns right… The driver will steer right… It blows your mind doesn’t it?

        1. @w0o0dy but Max did steer into Lewis on both occasions.

          Silverstone, Max turned sharply, realized Lewis was alongside him and then tried to correct but failed to make the necessary correction to avoid contact.

          Monza, Max’s steering wheel is pointing towards the right completely.

          These are videos and photos clearly showing that. Are you from a different universe where Lewis was steering into Max?

          Lewis was going to defend hard especially coming out of the corner but he definitely didn’t want to collide there. It think he was very much looking forward to racing Max.

          1. Come on, let those little birds fly…
            Its getting ridiculous.

          2. @erikje

            He is getting ridiculous, but no more so than many Max fans on this site.

            Everyone needs to calm down: Drivers, TPs, and fans. We are finally seeing a great season with a close fight for the championship that isn’t just between the 2 Merc drivers. Sure, there have been a couple of incidents, but the only thing all the finger pointing and yelling does is make it more likely to happen again. What we need is for someone to diffuse the situation, and instead we just get people (especially Horner and Wolf) escalating it. I can see one driver or the other ending up seriously injured before the end of the season if it all continues, and it will not just be the drivers who shoulder the responsibility.

    2. Hear hear, a big booh for Toto

  8. I’m pretty sure that there are already sufficient means of discouragement without any comment needing to be made by any team principal.

    As far as I’m aware any deliberate taking out of another car results in the driver being disqualified and potentially receiving a race ban.

    Clearly none of the incidents this year have been assessed as deliberate by the stewards, nor should they have been.

  9. Max is extremely talented , but he’s still young and obviously feels entitled to his first championship this year. Both Silverstone and Monza showed he will go for a space thinking ‘or not’ that it is his. I now this is pure speculation and many Max fans will strongly disagree, but does he think next year may be a lot more difficult with maybe Lando and George fully prepared with the same mindset and competitive cars.

    1. Perhaps he is only taking the opportunity to win the championship this year as the car is competitive enough to do so. Next year, who knows…

    2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      15th September 2021, 10:01

      You do know that in Silverstone Lewis went for a space that wasn’t there.
      That the stewards found Lewis to be predominately to blame for the Silverstone clash and gave Lewis a 10 second penalty equivalent to a 5 place grid penalty.

      I very much can turn the table and say that Lewis realizes that this year is his last chance to win a championship with Max finally getting a better car, with in 2022 Russell joining Mercedes and as you said Ferrari/Mclaren improving their cars with very promising drivers like Leclerc and Norris in them.

      1. 10 second penalty in a car that is between 1 and 5 seconds ahead of everyone else is NOTHING like a 5 place grid drop

        1. Jelle is right, it’s the 2nd most lenient penalty, and also it’s subjective when a 5 place grid drop is better than a 10 sec.

      2. Come on, there was space at Silverstone for an overtake. Both Silverstone and Monza were racing incidents and two extremely talented drivers fighting at such fine margins. People need to stop demonising one driver over the other and appreciate that we have a solid title fight on our hands.

      3. Max had a Lot of Space on the Left
        To Avoid that Clash

        1. Lewis was the one behindand off the racing line and going in too fast….
          By his own reasoning in comments made after Monza and by Mercedes’s comments recently he should have conceded as there was no way to get past Max.
          So either both had some right to try this or both were wrong. That still doesn’t deal with the fact that this move from Max could have worked had the sausage kerb not flicked him up and had Lewis taken a slightly less squeezing line… The move in Silverstone by Hamilton was never going to work, no matter what Max had done.

          1. @w0o0dy

            As I have said before, I agree that Lewis shoulders more responsibility for that incident than Max.

            That said, Max also went into that corner way too fast. He was going faster there than he did on his Q3 lap, where he was on better tyres, with less fuel, and was taking a better line through the corner. Unless he was going significantly slower than he could have in qually, he was never going to make that corner cleanly. Instead, he would have left the track on the exit.

    3. Usually the one feeling entitled is the one who has already won, but I don’t think Ham feels that.

  10. That’s a horrible, dangerous statement… no one races to take rivals out…

    There’s always a risk vs reward. Sure Max might not have risked the move if he had a healthy lead in the championship because he could’ve afforded to follow Hamilton home, but that doesn’t mean last sunday he deliberately took him off.

    Talk about badmouthing your rivals. Mercedes complained a lot about Red Bull calling Hamilton “amateur” and so on… now they are implying a) his rival took him out deliberately, b) he “didn’t check on Hamilton’s well being” while Lewis was trying to reverse himself out of that situation…

    The racing’s been great and it’s really exciting, but all this talk off track has been very, very low level, from both camps…

    1. @fer-no65 Or if a non-WDC contender rejoined ahead from the pit lane instead.

    2. “but that doesn’t mean last sunday he deliberately took him off”

      Risk v Reward.

      If that was anyone but Hamilton coming out of the pits there, Verstappen does not launch his car into a disappearing wedge. For him it was a win-win. Gain position, or they both crash.

      1. N agree, people seem to forget that he was also raging after the 11 second botched pit stop and was full of red mist as seen in the expletive laden radio call..seeing Lewis in front of him was the straw that broke the camels back so he went for the impossible overtake over the sausage curb torpedoing Lewis which worked out well for Max because he denied his closest WDC rival any points in the process.

        Grid penalty is a joke because RB will just replace the engine and start from the back anyway to minimize the ‘punishment’

        Also I fear that Max will end up killing himself or another driver if he does not control his anger.

        1. assume much, do you?

        2. and was full of red mist as seen in the expletive laden radio call

          I linked that call earlier. There is one f word regarding the pitstop and two in total later on regarding his track position. None of those calls sounded “ful of red mist” only a frustrated driver.
          But the interesting part about toto and several ham fans here. A foul, deliberate…
          It takes one to know one

          1. It certainly sounded incredibly angry to me, more than just frustrated. Maybe not quite “red mist” raging, but certainly very angry. It is not unreasonable to suggest that anger may have influenced his behaviour.

        3. @ccpbioweapon What did he say on the radio? I couldn’t make much of it but it did sound offensive.

          Just curious, what happened to the person who made the mistake at Red Bull? It was just an honest mistake, I hope they didn’t sack him.

  11. HAM knows exactly what VER was feeling like under his helmet in Monza, not so long ago it was HAM who raced his competitor far beyond what is a reasonable limit, and made contact. Resulting in VER crashing into the wall at 51G.

    In some situations drivers are willing to race each other until a crash happens. Alonso in Hungaroring is another example of this from the 2021 season, how else was he willing to block so harshly. He knew he was defending for Alpine’s (OCO) win and was willing to make contact to defend. The key difference in Hungaroring, Hamilton had it all to lose in case there was contact, so he only performed the overtake when it was absolutely safe.

    Having the 2 championship leaders with equal amounts to lose in such a situation,and neither willing to let go of an opportunity and wait until it is absolutely safe to overtake, will very likely give us juicy drama. Silverstone worked out for HAM because of the red flag, other wise he would have retired with tyre damage! Monza resulted in both retiring.

    All in all: Big racing, Big results, Big drama, Big consequences. Such is the nature of Racing incidents.

    1. The thing is, they didn’t both have equal amounts to lose in either Silverstone or Monza. I’m not suggesting that the accident was purposeful in either case, as I don’t think it was at all. However, Max had a lead in the WDC in both cases, meaning that if neither driver finishes the race (a strong possibility whenever 2 drivers come together) he is left in a better position than he he had been (same gap but fewer races for Hamilton to close it). It’s marginal, at this point, but it is still better for Verstappen for them both to crash than it is for Hamilton.

      1. yeah but you could argue that Lewis at Silverstone didn’t want the gap in the championship to further widen. Enough motivation as well (theoretically as I agree there was no intend in neither cases but there was stress -higher excitement than battling with any other car- and some form of mist) Or how about just ego not wanting to be passed on track by your opponent in front of cameras. That adds stress and cheeky behavior too. Which again we can all narrate in different directions/persons.

  12. Jolyon Palmer has given an in depth, considered and fair assessment of the incident which sums it up well enough for me. The similarities to Max’s move on Massa a few years back was quite striking.

    Toto’s comments are as predictable as Horner’s.

  13. Liberty have done a lot of things right since they took over from Bernie… more than they are given credit for in my opinion. Forcing through Sprint Qualifying is not one of them however.

    1. #wrongthread

    2. You, sir, seem to be lost.

      This is the time to cry, moan, and whail about “The Monza Incident”.
      This should take no longer than until the next GP. Until then, keep all other discussions away!

      Such conversations distract us from seeing Loois’ #stillirise.

  14. What a fall from grace this man has made this season. Before this season we’ve seen a calm complacent team boss who credits his team and drivers and really didn’t put a foot wrong. As soon as there was a hint of competition this year he sunk lower (together with Christian who already had the reputation of being a 4 year old mentally) than I could have imagined. The bias and subjective view on everything is frankly endearing. You almost feel sorry for him (and the people around him) It is so obvious that he twists things everyway and every other weekend, that I can not imagine he doesn’t see that no one will take him seriously anymore from now on. But I have to admit the PR machine of Mercedes is much much better than that of RedBull. They are really good at playing victim, finger pointing and well making really harsh statements that are utterly untrue but doing it in a way that he just possibly could get away with it. Unlike Horner who just blatantly says the wrong things. I do not know what is worse, but I do know I will cheer the day these two characters leave this beautiful sport.

    1. I would say Wolff has been too long with Hamilton. It’s lies, mind games, and dirty tricks all the way

      1. No idea who influenced whom but it is not fitting the stature of the sport, that’s for sure. I thought Abiteboul was a clown, but he certainly is not the only one. What I don’t get (or maybe a little since Mercedes is not 100% owner of the team) is that Mercedes allows his behavior to rub off on the brand. RB is a brand in line with ‘over the top’ so them allowing Christian to do his thing I can somewhat understand (albeit not very professional and something I would never ever tolerate from any employee), but Mercedes sure isnt or at least I thought. Further to this I also notice that RB has the worst PR team (or maybe Ferrari?) in the sport. Seriously, why are you letting Mercedes do this to Max and your team. It is textbook character assault that comes from Mercedes. It is borderline (il)legal sometimes and all made up.

  15. Practice what you preach, lead by example, the mote and the beam…

  16. Tactical foul… didn’t that start this year with Bottas v Russell at Imola, rather than be overtaken by his successor Bottas moved to scare Russell and that caused Russell to crash into Bottas

    1. And I could also argue that Hungary was quite the tactical foul as well. Beautiful result. In football it would be a very useful yellow card taken.

  17. Hard to say drivers need to be discouraged when your driver was rewarded for taking his rival out

    1. The level of these guys is indeed amazing. I feel they need to be removed from the sport per direct. This is so unprofessional, I can’t even believe it. Maybe FIA could come up with a zero comments policy for team principals. We are not interested to hear what they have to say anyway since we know it has minimal to no value since made up or a lie.

  18. The issue is Max has gotten a pass for years for these types of moves.
    I understand he is a sensational driver, a generational talent, but he was called crashstappen for a reason. He has definitely matured but other drivers can’t always be the ones to “make space”, it works both ways so if he wants to go for a gap and he crashes then he needs to adapt his style or accept the longer term outcome which will in all probability be him losing a championship that is his to win.

    1. Or they join in a journey back to the core of racing, to the technique and finesse, and up their game. Years of mediocre processional driving & drivers and team dominance have blurred what this sport is about.

  19. A black flag or race ban for Hamilton following his Silverstone antics might have been sufficient discouragement, but unfortunately that opportunity is gone.

    1. Only one race?

      I propose the next 500 races, plus removal of the results of all previous races since karting

    2. I agree. A more clear signal the first time was the chance they missed. If you punish full speed 51G incident with not even a slap on the wrist, well the you’ve made your bed. Own up to the consequences.

      1. If you punish full speed 51G incident

        As the stewards have pointed out several times, that is not a factor in their judgement. What they look at is what the driver(s) did, not what happened afterwards. It could end in a “51G incident” ending a driver’s race or a driver just skidding over the grass and rejoining the track, the penalty would be the same. Had the angle been slightly different and Max just skidded across the gravel but rejoined behind Hamilton, I strongly suspect most people would be calling a 10s penalty too harsh, but if it was the same action which caused it, the penalty would be the same.

        This has been agreed by all the teams following the ridiculous over-reaction of the Grosjean incident, where a small mistake resulted in a race ban. None of the teams want that happening again, nor do they want to discourage drivers from fighting with championship leaders in case they are penalised more harshly for a mistake. That means judging what a driver did, not what happened because of it. Would it be fair to penalise Max more harshly because his car landed on Hamilton’s head? If not, it is not fair to judge Hamilton more harshly because Max had a 51G impact.

        1. Its a matter of sequence. Silverstone just happened to be the first incident. They had their chance then and clearly didnt take it. Now they have to accept the result of their actions.

        2. Silverstone was such a missed opportunity. Even if you conclude it was a ‘predominantly’ situation and given the predominantly party won while the other DNF, then you still should have (and easily could, given the unfolding of the race) given a very harsh slap on the wrist. Say (to exaggerate) a black flag. It wouldn’t have hurt the championship a bit (in fact it would have made it much more fair since you already concluded the predominantly part and the other got a DNF). It would have given a very clear signal. Monza probably wouldn’t have happened.

          1. I don’t really agree. To do so would be to allow outside circumstances to strongly affect the punishment handed out. We don’t want people punished more harshly for taking out the championship leaders whether they are back markers, mid fielders or championship leaders themselves.

            Had Hamilton been black flagged at Silverstone, that would have sent a message that they are not to come together, true. However, it would likely also have significantly reduced the amount of racing we got between them. If a tiny mistake (which is all the incident was at Silverstone) can lead to a black flag, they will be more likely to wait for that DRS-assisted pass, or make sure they can clearly make the overtake stick. There would be much less wheel-to-wheel action, as moving as centimetre too far could see them black flagged.

            Now, it’s a little different if you see a pattern of behaviour. Maldonardo, for instance, got heavier sanctions because he crashed so often. I can certainly see the next incident being punished more severely, for instance. But to do so pre-emptively would have been a mistake IMHO.

  20. Neither driver are known for giving way easily to overtaking drivers and give each other even less space – especially now they’re fighting for a title. They know each point is precious so they won’t give an inch, this is just what’s going to happen.

    The insinuation from Wolff, constantly, that Verstappen deliberately tried to take Hamilton out is as ridiculous as the idea Hamilton did the same thing in Silverstone and more than ‘doing something about’ this maybe we could ‘do something about’ team bosses spewing absolute drivel to the media all the time?

    1. Why were Toto and Wolff not wearing their masks?!?

      Mask would not only help them show social responsibility given the global situation, it would also make it harder for them to spew their nonsense so nonchalantly. Perhaps if they have to “scream, and shout, and yell it out loud”, they’d hear how ridiculous they sound and reconsider.

  21. I am sure Toto and Horner would agree on that one right now. But what should be done, or even what threshold there is etc, I doubt anyone can make a simple rule that won’t bring us completely stupid results when stewards try to apply them to the real world.

    Just no. No. There was somewhat more blame on Max, but in the end, it was a bit of a freak accident where a sausage kerb threw his car up onto Hamilton’s after light contact at low speeds. If anything, we should look at the kerbs. Maybe we want to put the onus on the FIA, the race director and the track to make one that does not throw up such a situation first.

    Maybe if we see some intent – like what we used to see only too often from Maldonado. Or what we saw Vettel do with Lewis in Baku a few years back, or the way Mazepin acts on track, then I could understand that kind of thinking maybe. But then, we have the points on the licence thing which will serve at least as some form of deterrent for that.

  22. This would’ve been a very strong statement after Silverstone. Now it just sounds hypocritical.

    1. Exactly and it also has a hint of subjectivity coming with this now

  23. This is the real issue…

    There is now great incentive to take out your rival…

    As we have seen in Silverstone, Hungary, it is of great benefit to take out your rival, they get an engine penalties, expensive rebuilds etc., 0 points.

    In cost cut age with engine + gearbox penalties there is often more punishment for the victim.

    Now situation as it happened was judged to be a racing incident, predominantly Verstappen fault, but why did it happen?

    Rules as they are are not quite clear how much space and when does the driver need to leave space.

    Verstappen closed off Lewis clear off the road on lap one, on their final lap Lewis did not leave space on the inside of turn 2… after leaving enough space on outside of turn 1.

    Now the rules allow this, and what we see is drivers constantly driving their competitor off the road, more or less forcefully.

    The moment the driver disagrees with this practice and still goes for a gap, crash happens.

    In my opinion, the moment overtaking driver has wheels alongside rear wheels of the lead driver, the lead driver should leave space. Be it outside, inside, wherever. If space is not there and they crash automatic penalty for one, or both.

    Under new rules both drivers would be penalized for what happened after the crash. (and since stewards determined predominant fault, not punished equally)..

    There should be some space left the moment drivers are alongside each other, and this running off the road should be punished by automatic penalty.

    Imagine all the time we are robbed of awesome racing, because this is allowed and now even incentivized.

    Right now Verstappen is in the lead, every time he and Lewis DNF together, he is closer to the championship. Naturally any time Verstappen is about to overtake Lewis, it is best for Lewis that Verstappen crashes on the attempt, if Lewis can make it so legally. How does that promote good racing?

    1. In my opinion, the moment overtaking driver has wheels alongside rear wheels of the lead driver, the lead driver should leave space. Be it outside, inside, wherever. If space is not there and they crash automatic penalty for one, or both.

      But your opinion is from the armchair, after the fact.

      Rettifilo is too acute on the switchback for the driver ahead to leave the space and still make the corner with track position – the FIA and track operators know this, hence why the following car is effectively expected to back out of the manoeuvre or take a trip across the sausage kerbs, which are high enough to cause any driver forced to use them a problem.

    2. Glad you agree Max should have left Ham room at the first chicane in Imola, rather than forcing Ham to leave the track and damage his car. Shame you didn’t make a strong case at the time. And I assume you now agree Max should have had an automatic penalty for his get out of my way or crash move in Spain.

      1. If you argue over lap 1, corner 4 then you will have a hard time watching this sport and might consider watching something else. Furthermore it indicates that not the racing rules, but your preference for a person driving the car, determines what you think of events. But don’t worry, it still allows you to become a team boss

  24. Surely this is about Hamilton in Silverstone and Bottas in Hungary, right?

    1. Yes, I think this is what he told his drivers to not ever repeat. I think Toto has troubles managing Lewis.

  25. I’m pretty sure a precedent for this already exists. Jerez 1997 anyone?

    1. Exactly! Being disqualified from the World Championship for taking out your rival seems even a bit more than just to be discouraged..

      1. Thats what should have happened after Silverstone. Then they wouldnt have crashed anymore this season

  26. crashalong did an excellent recreation:

    1. That video must be exaggerating the contact between the wheel and Lewis’ head.


        It’s really hard to see at 0:00 to 0:01 but I think that wheel did hit his head pretty badly and must have pushed it forwards. Geez, Louise or in this case geez, Lewis!

  27. @w0o0dy you must really hate Mercedes and Hamilton:) all negative opinionated banter without a slice of an argument. Just words being heaved like a tsunami of diarrhea.

    I’d be curious to hear what you’d say if Max pulls another amateurish stunt and gets himself killed. I’m 100% sure you still won’t agree with me, or Toto, or any other responsible racing fan. Like Max, I’ve no doubt you lack the ability to know when you’re wrong which incidentally means you cannot improve, just like Max couldn’t in his 7 years as a F1 driver.

    1. Sorry to rain on your illogical parade…
      Fact is Lewis has ruined more driver’s races than Max has. Fact is Lewis has more penalty points than Max has.. Fact is Lewis had made more mistakes than Max has this year (and last year too).

      Lewis feels the pressure and fighting on the limit of legal is all he can do to stop Max.

      1. Yeah, how many penalty points have Lewis and Max had over their careers?

        I assume you know the answer.

        As for illogical, I’m pretty sure I would score 99 on a logic test. I’m curious to see what you’d score, though. You’d be surprised but I already know your score as anyone of my caliber would :-)

    2. @freelittlebirds

      “if Max pulls another amateurish stunt and gets himself killed.”

      “Like Max, I’ve no doubt you lack the ability to know when you’re wrong which incidentally means you cannot improve, just like Max couldn’t in his 7 years as a F1 driver.”


      “Just words being heaved like a tsunami of diarrhea.”

      1. @robbie that’s almost as creative as Max’s driving.

        Here’s a funny cartoon for you:

        Racecraft lecture given by Lewis Hamilton. All F1 drivers present. Max’s seat empty :-)

        Cut to picture of Max crashing outside enroute to lecture. Boom!

        Max talking to policeman: Officer, the pedestrian didn’t give me the space!

  28. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    15th September 2021, 13:50

    Out of everyone, Toto Wolff’s mouth, is not the one this should be coming from. His drivers hit RB drivers 2 races in a row in GB and Hungary and the 2016 Championship saw BOTH OF HIS OWN DRIVERS tangle more than once.

    1. This. I mean how stupid can a person be? Does he really believe we didnt see all of that?

  29. Can anyone provide us with the following stats:

    How many races has Max retired due to incidents regardless of fault? Is that available anywhere?

    How many incidents has Max been involved with during his F1 career?

    How many penalty points has he collected as a driver?

    I count 25 retirements in 133 races but many must have been mechanical.

    1. Why are you asking for these numbers only for Max, why not for Hamilton also?

      1. Well, I’d like to first see if we can get them for Max.

        Then we can compare them to other drivers.

        1. Sure …
          You can search them yourself

    2. Yea, Google can supply want you need.

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      15th September 2021, 18:17

      @freelittlebirds Here is my run down, based solely on googling and wikipedia so it may not be entirely accurate:


      Retirements due to incidents with other cars or by himself due to driver error (i.e. not crashes due to mechanical failure such as Bahrain 2017 (Brakes) or Imola 2020 (Puncture)): 14 (+1 spin of his own accord at the 2015 British GP)

      Of these:
      8 he can definitely take part or all of blame for (Monaco and Britain 2015, Monaco 2016, Bahrain 2018, Baku 2018, Belgium 2019, Sakhir 2020, Monza 2021)
      6 he is probably not at fault (Spain, Singapore and Austria 2017, Japan 2019 and Tuscany 2020, Hungary 2021)
      And I really am not going to start on Silverstone because it’s just not worth it.

      If I had more time, I would work out how many incidents he has been involved in and what this resulted in, although this is a much more difficult argument because it depends on what you class as an incident (things like Britain 2019 obviously are, but was Austria 2019? Or a spin at Turkey 2020? Just examples, but it comes down to what an individual defines as an incident. The best way would probably be to look at what the stewards felt necessary to investigate, but this also has problems as the stewards are very temperamental and the FIA records online only go back to 2019).

      Penalty points meanwhile is a much easier question. Max has 25. For comparison, Lewis has 15 (I think, the site hasn’t been updated since before Silverstone at least, so 2 are added for Silverstone, and I’ve added two to Max’s total at Monza), Perez also has 23, Seb has 30, Kimi has 18. In the Max vs Lewis situation here, Lewis has had one season more in F1 under the penalty point system, although he did not collect any in 2014 (or 2016 or 2018), while Max was clean in 2020.

      There is a problem with statistics like this. While I haven’t managed to see a detailed analysis, one would expect more incidents to take place in the midfield than out front, or right at the back, especially after the opening few laps. This isn’t meant to be a total vindication of Max for his time at STR or fighting through the field, but more to highlight the importance of something Lewis is very good at, which is getting out in front, out of danger, and controlling the race.

      1. @randommallard great work – it’s not easy. I was surprised how many of those stats were on Racefans’ site and oddly the urls changed in 2017 onwards.

        I’ll add another stat. Lewis has retired in less than 10% of his races. It’s exceptionally low.

        Verstappen’s retirement is over 20% which surprisingly is not that much higher compared to other drivers and some were mechanical but he does get tangled in race-ending incidents more often than Lewis.

        I think it’s fair to say that Lewis gets himself out of dangerous situations and is also usually in a controllable incident when it happens except in cases like very unexpected ones like Canada 2011, Spa 2012, Spain 2016, and Monza 2021. Obviously, Lewis has also made mistakes and misjudged situations especially when he was younger. He definitely has better incident judgment than any other F1 driver and that’s to a much higher degree nowadays. I think part of it is the fact that he stopped relying on the other driver’s judgment or only does so for drivers he knows have excellent judgment. I think he’s been caught out by Max lately because he’s rated him higher than he should have. He’s trying to avoid being the aggressor and just plays defense giving Max the choice to collide or avoid the collision.

        As for penalty points, they don’t tell the story. Of course, Lewis will have fewer career points than Max. It’s like comparing Messi’s red cards to Ramos’s. I think Lando has the most points now which makes no sense at all.

    4. Good Luck. You may want to start with penalty points and see where that takes you.

    5. Yes, I did that comparison some time ago vs Lewis. It turns out Lewis was involved in many more controversial accidents. Controversial meaning he also needed to dramatize and PR the other to extinction. He also collected way more penalty points than Max and good old Lauda called him many names and warned someday Lewis might seriously hurt someone. You all fell for the Lewis PR machine. Check the facts first.

  30. So much bitching drivel on this thread. Even accusing Bottas of somehow deliberately taking out the Red Bulls in Hungary. What absolute tosh!

  31. Team principals should be encouraged to watch and re-watch the video replays.

  32. Lewis was trying to move his car while Max was climbing out of his. (It’s visible in the 360º cam.)

    If he managed to get his car out at that moment he could have seriously injured the other driver: this situation worries me a lot more than if Max had to check if Hamilton was ok or not (if he was still trying to operate his car from under Max, he was obviously ok).

    That’s what should warrant a heavy penalty.

    1. Strange opinion. It doesn’t worry you that Max walked onto the track behind Hamilton’s car, rather than walking on the gravel in front of the car? Were you not told as a kid to not walk out behind parked cars?

      1. So since Max walks on the wrong spot it is ok to keep trying to back up. Hey, he’s in hospital now but he shouldnt have been there in the first place. I bet Lewis could turn himself into the victim nevertheless if such situation would occur

    2. Hamilton from his viewpoint could not see whether Verstappen was remaining in the cockpit or climbing out. But the situation was dangerous. Maybe both Hamilton & Verstappen should have coordinated their actions with stewards or with their respective teams via radio. (Verstappen walked directly behind Hamilton car towards the pits, eventhough he previously noticed Hamilton was trying to free his car & return to race)

  33. What I said is that one could see it as tactical foul with the bias that each of us needs to just acknowledge.

    At last Wolff dared to tell the truth, for once.

  34. Ham definitely decided to squeeze Ver.

    Compare his first lap with Norris at the same corner, Norris was in a near identical position as Ver and Ham left them both the room to make the corner…

    Ham just seems to get freaked out when hes side by side with Ver.

    1. Wolff has renamed it a ‘tactical foul’ and Hamilton is the master of it.

    2. Better yet, look at Giovinazzi (in the role of Max) vs a Ferrari (in the role of Lewis) at race start. 100% comparible. The Ferrari gave 15cm more space and both made it through the corner while on entry of turn 1 Giovinazzi was even further back then where Max came from. Seriously this is absolutely Lewis decision to crash.

  35. “For me what we need to avoid in the future is taking each out tactically because you know you’ve lost the position,” said Wolff.

    I am curious if Wolff told the same to Lewis after Silverstone?

    1. Ofcourse not. They are flawless. The others do the mistakes

  36. Another controversy pitting left against right, black against white, up against down, liberal against conservative. In other words, another useless discussion. I thought these guys all Raced As One.

  37. Pot kettle Toto

  38. Mr. Wolff, tell that to your own Lewis Hamilton first. He took out Verstappen in the British GP and you supported him. Physician, heal thyself.

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