Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said Red Bull’s criticism of seven-times champion Lewis Hamilton in the aftermath of his collision with Formula One title rival Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix were below the belt and had crossed a line.
The pair collided on the opening lap of the race around the high-speed Silverstone track, with the contact putting Red Bull’s Verstappen out of the race in a 51G crash that sent the Dutchman to hospital for precautionary checks.
Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty by stewards but the Briton still went on to win his home race for a record-extending eighth time and slash his deficit to Verstappen to eight points from 33 in the overall standings.
The Milton Keynes-based team, feeling Hamilton had got off easy, had asked stewards to review the incident but their petition was dismissed on Thursday ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix for lack of new evidence.
Mercedes responded with a punchy statement, saying they hoped it would end Red Bull’s attempt to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.
“We wanted to bring a little bit of respect back to the discussion,” Wolff told reporters on Friday in a video conference from the Hungaroring track.
“We understand that emotions can run high. But we felt that line was overstepped.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner had criticised Hamilton’s move as “desperate” after the Silverstone race, while the team’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko had called for the Briton to be handed a one-race ban. Verstappen described Hamilton and the Mercedes team’s post-race celebrations as “disrespectful”.
Wolff said Red Bull had elaborated on those criticisms in the submissions they made to stewards as part of their petition for a review.
“We felt the comments that were made during and after the race, and then in written statements and in the meeting itself were below the belt,” he said.
“But it’s not up to me, nor would Lewis want to demand any apologies,” he added.
Horner said Red Bull’s criticism of Hamilton wasn’t personal nor had they suggested the Briton acted deliberately.
“If that had been any other driver the reaction would have been identical,” he added, calling Mercedes’ statement “antagonistic”.
“As far as we’re concerned the chapter is now closed.”
Dyche Calls For Refocus As Everton Stay Up
Aston Villa’s Elated Emery Dreaming Of European Nights
Smith Fails To Light Leicester Fire As Foxes Go Down
Verstappen Wins In Monaco As Perez Draws A Blank
Sabalenka Powers Into French Second Round In Win Marred By Jeers
F1 Teams Analyse Crane Photos For Secrets Of Red Bull Floor
Luton Complete Fairytale Rise From Dark Days Of Fifth Tier To Premier League
Ruud Banking On French Open Experience For Deep Run After ‘Up And Down’ Season
Olympic Champion Crouser Shatters Own Shot Put World Record
Mercedes Fear ‘Circus’ Crane Operator Exposed Car Secrets
Bayern Sack CEO Kahn, Sports Director Salihamidzic After Title Win-Club
Munster Win URC Championship With Late Try To Beat Holders Stormers