Toto Wolff

Mercedes call in police over ‘Hamilton sabotage’ emails as Wolff attacks ‘cowards’

Formula 1

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has denied emails claiming Lewis Hamilton is being sabotaged were sent by a member of the team.

He confirmed the police have been called over a series of emails sent to journalists and others in Formula 1 alleging Mercedes is deliberately undermining his efforts and even jeopardising his safety.

“It’s not from a member of the team,” said Wolff. “When we are getting these kind of emails, and we’re getting tons of them, it is upsetting, particularly when somebody is talking about death and all these things.

“So, on this particular one, I have instructed to go in full force. We have the police inquiring. We are researching the IP address. We are researching the phone, all of that, because online abuse in that way needs to stop.

“People can’t hide behind their phones or their computers and abuse teams or drivers in a way like this.”

Wolff attacked the suggestion Mercedes would try to sabotage the efforts of a driver they have won six world championships with.

“I don’t know what some of the conspiracy theorists and lunatics think out there. Lewis was part of the team for 12 years. We have a friendship. We trust each other. We want to win this. We want to end this on a high. We want to celebrate the relationship.

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“If you don’t believe all of that, then you can believe that we want to win the constructors’ world championship. And part of the constructors’ world championship is making both cars win. So to all of these mad people out there, take a shrink.”

Hamilton has driven for Mercedes since 2013, but earlier this year agreed a deal to join Ferrari next season. Wolff said it was “irrational” to claim that would lead Mercedes to undermine his performance.

“There seems to be lots of irrationality, also, because we want to be successful,” he said. “We want to be successful with the most iconic driver the sport has ever had. The privilege that we’ve had to work with Lewis as an incredible driver, a great personality, that goes through the ups and downs like any other like any other sports person.

“I totally respect the reasons for him going to Ferrari. There is no grudge. There is no bad feeling. The interaction we have in the team is positive. And so every comment from the outside of what is going in the team is just simply wrong.

“But there’s always a limit. If emails are being sent or telephone numbers are being used for these messages, then for me, the joking stops. And we will pursue it, whether that is successful or not. But there are limits to certain things.”

Yesterday Hamilton told media his supporters should stop criticising his team mate George Russell, who has received abusive messages online. Last week Max Verstappen condemned social media abuse of his partner Kelly Piquet.

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Wolff said those who attack others using anonymous accounts are “cowards.”

“Obviously, online abuse is not only something that happens to us or to the team or to the people, it happens badly to Lewis, badly to Lewis, and to George, and we’ve seen Max speaking out about it and Kelly,” he said.

“People that abuse are cowards, because they hide. So whatever is going on out there with social media, with all the good things that it provides, and all those people that have been given a platform, that’s just the negatives that come with it. I have no feelings to someone that abuses for the reasons I just said before.”

“I’m not reading any comments. I don’t have social media,” he added. “And I think it’s important to protect oneself by doing so.

“I’ve commented about this many times before, there will always be people that have their laptop on the chest in their bedroom and just typing away.

“If people feel like they’re abusing, want to abuse and hit out and hide behind a made-up Instagram account or anything else, that for me is… come up, say who you are, and we’ll take the criticism and discuss, but don’t hide.”

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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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18 comments on “Mercedes call in police over ‘Hamilton sabotage’ emails as Wolff attacks ‘cowards’”

  1. “I never thought the leopards would eat MY face,” sobs team principal of Leopards Eating People’s Faces F1.

    1. My COTD!

    2. Lololol

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    21st June 2024, 18:30

    I don’t see why Wolff would involve the police, unless he has suspicions about where this “leak” came from.

    Feels like there’s more to this than some are making out, surely the press get all sorts of deranged emails throughout the year so why is this one worthy of police involvement?

    1. He would only use the police unless he suspected the leak coming from ‘premises’. So as to ‘scare’ off potential employees from further action. The police aren’t really a factor for hackers, or people not bound to Toto’s property.

      So is Toto scared, aye, yeah, and hes trying to project that in to people he believes works for him. That said, hes most likely not going to win anything with boy George and keep slipping back next year.

      1. He would only use the police unless he suspected the leak coming from ‘premises’. So as to ‘scare’ off potential employees from further action. The police aren’t really a factor for hackers, or people not bound to Toto’s property.

        There speaks a man who has no knowledge of the enquiries that come in to IT staff, via legal, from the police about tracing a particular IP in regard “to case number XXXXXXXXXXXX”

        1. lolz. IT Staff. IP addresses are like 20 years ago bro. Most hacking uses proxies, and compromised devices, like apple Iphones. Hackers don’t need to do anything, they just phone it in these days.

          1. IP addresses are like 20 years ago bro

            IPv4 or IPv6, take your pick, but it has to be one or the other. It’s an address.

            Emails are traceable, through the mail relays, unless an open relay is used and that accepts connections through from dodgy proxy systems.
            Open relays are scarce these days, unless you know where to look, and the content of the email Keith C was sent suggests that the sender would be hard-pressed to count higher than 10 without taking their socks off.

  3. An Sionnach
    21st June 2024, 19:36

    If the police were called, were some form of threats made? Well said, Toto. I’m not a fan, but I like how you’ve mentioned Lewis, George and Max in one breath here. If someone thinks they’re a Lewis fan and they’re spreading this stuff, they should realise that it probably upsets the man himself. The same goes for any other driver. They just want to drive. We get a lot out of watching the results of what all the great people involved in Formula 1 do without the risk of crashing our chairs into a wall at 300kph. Thanks everyone!

  4. Calling the police over conspiracy theories the internet…. he seems out of touch just a little :D

  5. Silent but Deadly
    21st June 2024, 22:18

    Sir Lewis Hamilton attracts an amazing amount of abuse for some reason (I have my suspicions as to why). I’m not surprised that some of it has become so toxic it’s actionable.
    Odd that just about every person that knows him, or has worked with him, think and speak positively about him. He’s in demand even when he’s not leading races and scoring points. Or are both Mercedes and Ferrari insane?

    1. This was abuse of Hamilton?

    2. You’re probably on the wrong page because this has absolutely nothing to do with abuse suffered by Hamilton.

      1. To Team LH, even a maniac sending emails saying he’s being sabotaged is an attack on Mr. Lewis.

  6. It’s always the Lewis fans involved in the worst abuses … and he’s always fanning the flames in the background.
    Such a fragile ego.

    1. So what does that say about the people who are always looking for a chance to hate him?

    2. Ursula Boldt
      22nd June 2024, 13:49

      How exactly is Lewis fanning the flames? Seems to me that he is doing just the opposite by calling out his fans to stop spreading hate. But that doesn’t fit into your hate for him, does it? Sad! 🤷🏼‍♀️

  7. I can just hear Toto’s comical 911 call: “yahh, iz me Todo again. Another mean person is making trouble for the Todo! Prahhbublee Hornah. Send SWAD team!”

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