Wolff denies Hamilton in title meltdown

Oct.10 (GMM) Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has defended Lewis Hamilton at the end of a tumultuous weekend for the reigning world champion.

Briton Hamilton ended his troubled Suzuka weekend – which culminated in Mercedes winning the constructors’ world championship – by deleting a Tweet referring to an “idiot”.

Earlier, he was in a standoff with the media, he messed up the start of Sunday’s Japanese grand prix, and he failed to get past Max Verstappen at the end of the race.

Mercedes protested Verstappen’s alleged movement under braking, but via Twitter, Hamilton denied the protest had even been lodged and referred to an “idiot” who started the story.

However, the story was true, and Hamilton subsequently deleted the Tweet.

Mercedes then withdrew the protest, but when asked about Hamilton’s tumultuous Suzuka weekend off the track, team boss Wolff said: “Let him do his talking on the track.

“His performances in the car justify some collateral damage.”

Team chairman Niki Lauda thinks it is now almost “impossible” for Hamilton to win the title, but Wolff denied that his driver is now effectively in meltdown.

“In Malaysia, Lewis dominated the weekend but then there was the engine failure which was not easy to cope with.

“Then there were all these events related to the (Thursday) press conference, but I don’t think that affected him at the start. After that, he had a great race.”

So Wolff tipped Hamilton to bounce back soon, and played down any suggestion the 31-year-old should be reprimanded for detracting from Mercedes’ championship win.

“After such a race, it is not the right moment to really put the finger where it hurts.

“In my experience of the last few years, the situation often looks completely different after 24 hours,” he said.

“Our main goal is to help Lewis, but there are ten days until Austin so there is no need to hurry — unlike last week.

“At the same time, it is true that Lewis works best under pressure and when he has a target, so I have no doubt it will be a tough fight until the very end.

“We are still very far from being able to say that it is over.”

Related News

  • 17/10/2016 Lauda, Fittipaldi defend Verstappen driving Oct.17 (GMM) Niki Lauda has backed Max Verstappen's driving during the recent Japanese grand prix. Initially, Mercedes lodged a protest against the Dutchman's defensive move in his duel […]
  • 29/03/2015 No Hamilton contract news for ‘few more days’ Mar.29 (GMM) The Malaysian grand prix weekend started and ended without Lewis Hamilton's new Mercedes contract being announced. The reigning world champion entered the Sepang weekend […]
  • 12/10/2016 Lauda will talk to Hamilton about media blow-up Oct.12 (GMM) Niki Lauda thinks Lewis Hamilton will be back up to speed in Austin next weekend -- even when it comes to his media responsibilities. While his engine was smoking in […]
  • 30/09/2016 Hamilton respects Rosberg more now – Wolff Sep.30 (GMM) Toto Wolff thinks world champion Lewis Hamilton respects Nico Rosberg more than ever in 2016. "I think the respect was always there," the Mercedes team boss told German […]
  • 20/11/2017 Lauda, Wolff want Hamilton to stay Nov.20 (GMM) Mercedes has admitted it wants to keep Lewis Hamilton beyond 2018. Some media sources claim the new quadruple world champion is demanding a pay-rise for a new contract in […]
  • 06/10/2017 Bottas struggle is ‘Mercedes’ fault’ – Lauda Oct.6 (GMM) Niki Lauda says struggling Valtteri Bottas is not to blame for his collapse in form. The Finn was having a solid first season for Mercedes until a few races ago, when Ferrari […]
  • 18/09/2017 Singapore not ‘preliminary title decision’ – Wolff Sep.18 (GMM) Toto Wolff has hit back at suggestions Sunday in Singapore was a 'preliminary decision' for a fourth world championship title for Lewis Hamilton. With the first-corner crash […]
  • 11/07/2016 Radio ban making waves again after Rosberg penalty Jul.11 (GMM) F1's controversial ban on radio instructions is making waves again, as world champion Lewis Hamilton moved to within a single point of the title lead on Sunday. Actually, […]
  • 06/10/2016 Wolff rejects Hamilton’s offer to skip sessions Oct.6 (GMM) Toto Wolff has rejected Lewis Hamilton's claim that the British driver might sit out practice sessions in the remainder of 2016. Bitterly disappointed with the latest engine […]
  • 11/04/2015 Lauda tells Rosberg to ‘sort himself out’ Apr.11 (GMM) Niki Lauda has urged Nico Rosberg to "sort himself out" after a mediocre start to the 2015 season. German Rosberg fought teammate Lewis Hamilton all the way to the 2014 […]