Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2023

Hamilton crane operator “probably worked for Cirque du Soleil”, jokes Wolff

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted he was alarmed to see Lewis Hamilton’s car being craned high in the air at a steep angle in final practice.

The W14 chassis was collected by a crane after Hamilton crashed at Mirabeau near the end of the session. At one point the car tilted to a very steep angle, then settled, before being raised high into the air.

Cranes are regularly used to lift stranded cars from the track in Monaco to speed up recovery times. Sergio Perez’s Red Bull was collected the same way in qualifying.

Wolff admitted he didn’t enjoy the sight of one of his team’s cars being treated this way, particularly as it allowed parts that are ordinarily hidden, such as the floor, to be seen clearly.

“Whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil before,” he told media including RaceFans. “Honestly, that I don’t even comprehend.

“The car was on the road, you could have put it on it on a truck and rather [than] that you’re showcasing the car to everyone in the world. That was sub-optimum for us, to say the least.”

However he made it clear he did not intend to criticise the marshals. “Everybody’s doing the best and I don’t want to be a team principal that lashes out on stewards that are doing their job.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Pictures: Hamilton’s crash and recovery in final practice

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

    Browse all 2023 Monaco Grand Prix articles

    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...
    Claire Cottingham
    Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    19 comments on “Hamilton crane operator “probably worked for Cirque du Soleil”, jokes Wolff”

    1. Something is making people more stupid than before.

      1. Coventry Climax
        28th May 2023, 11:02

        Yep. Governments ‘saving’ on education, while allowing all types of misleading information, in a bid to have the population change into non-questioning consumer units.

    2. Ha Ha Ha.
      Maybe next time Mercedes will put a Non-PG rated image on the bottom so the press cant share the image on open media.
      Or put a picture of some politician being bad, so it wont get coverage.

      1. Damn, that’s a good idea, anything that causes a bad PR if they share the image would work!

      2. Hahahaha

    3. The Dolphins
      28th May 2023, 2:29

      On the contrary, it would be great to have all cars in a “parc ferme display.” Elevated or parked on a glass floor to show off all angles to the fans who have tickets for the race.

    4. Well who is the clown 🤡?
      The one who damaged the car or the one who retrieved it safely?
      And speaking of picking things up and depositing them elsewhere why is Wolff trying to get Sargeant out of Williams and Schumacher in.
      Too many tentacles.

      1. Well, sargeant is being destroyed by albon, the difference in this quali session was particularly impressive for example, but I guess it’s too early to judge him, not that schumacher was given much more time by steiner considered the first season the car was a write-off.

        1. Yeah now I think about it I can’t see Sargeant closing that 1 point gap to Alex.

    5. The floor getting seen on both occasions was inevitable because no other way could cars get recovered efficiently & in an open event with cameras around.
      Always unavoidable in Monaco with high cranes, although Zandvoort has some too.
      Admittedly, Hamilton’s car was attached in a risky & unstable way, but this was only a one-off error.

    6. Don’t crash then.

      He’s not the kind of team principal that blames people doing their job but he felt the need to make this remark anyway.

      1. @fer-no65

        He’s not the kind of team principal that blames people doing their job but he felt the need to make this remark anyway.

        I disagree with you on this one. Toto has always been the kind of team principle that blames people, though he’s been portraying himself as the reasonable pragmatic manager. I have always called his behaviour on this proper forum, he’s a sore loser just Horner who in the past also blamed a “rogue” marshal for doing his job.

        Remember that he didn’t refrain from pushing Mike Elliot out of the design office the first time Mercedes dropped the ball in a decade. The move which was marketed as a “leadership reshuffle” was already in the making from last season but he was just waiting for a confirmation which he got at the start of this season. The only reason Elliot was promoted to the Chief Technical Officer role was to prevent him going to rival team and expose Mercedes secrets.

        1. @tifoso1989 I mean he said so, he said he’s not the kind of team principal that blames people, but still said it.

    7. It’s remarkable how seriously some people will take a nothing story

    8. Electroball76
      28th May 2023, 10:47

      But where are the clowns?

    9. Coventry Climax
      28th May 2023, 10:55

      It appears all parts of the car -minus driver- were still attached to it.
      It appears the tow hook was attached at the correct – and Mercedes designed – point.

      Pick up any object by rope from a single point and it will tilt to have the Centre of Gravity exactly beneath that pickup point.
      Therefore: The car’s tilt shows exactly on what vertical line it’s Centre of Gravity is; quite far backwards.
      This might be sensitive information as well.

      That’s not Circque du Soleil, it’s physics, mr. Wolff. Despite you claiming the opposite, you seem to constantly blame others for mistakes that go under your responsability and noone elses.

      1. Fred Fedurch
        28th May 2023, 11:25

        Lewis was complaining about this car’s driver forward location. It would mean the hook location point is farther forward as well.

        1. Coventry Climax
          28th May 2023, 17:10

          If you design a hook location dependent on driver position – you know, the part that’s not there when the car is on a crane – you deserve to not win the championship.
          But it does explain why the car tilts back so far. Still, nothing to do with the crane operator.

          1. Coventry Climax
            28th May 2023, 17:12

            Meaning to say it explains why the CoG seems far back, but I guess you understood already.

    Comments are closed.