Toto Wolff happy to be Lewis Hamilton’s trash bin after Dutch GP radio rant
Toto Wolff said he was happy to be Lewis Hamilton’s “trash bin” after the seven-time world champion’s expletive-laden rant against Mercedes during the Dutch Grand Prix.
Hamilton had looked set to win his first Grand Prix of the season after running long on the medium tyres from the start before switching to hards for an intended one-stop strategy. However, a virtual safety car (VSC), triggered when Yuki Tsunoda, of Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, stopped on track and a full safety car, needed when Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas ground to a halt on the pit straight, jumbled up every team’s strategy.
It could be argued Mercedes should have either kept Russell out as a buffer between Hamilton and Max Verstappen or brought Hamilton in for the fastest soft tyres. Either way, Hamilton was left furious by his team’s handling of the race.
READ MORE: 'P****d' Lewis Hamilton tells Mercedes 'I can't believe you screwed me' in radio rant
"That was the biggest **** up,” he fumed over team radio before another rant soon after: "I can't believe you guys **** **** me, can't you how **** I am."
Having been left on the slower medium tyres, which he switched to during the VSC, Hamilton was overtaken by George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to come home fourth as Verstappen took victory at his home race.
Referring to Hamilton’s tirade, Mercedes boss Wolff told Sky Sports F1: “First of all, we are the trash bin for the driver. It’s highly emotional. You’re racing for the win and you’re being eaten up. So it’s clear every emotion comes out.
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“As a driver, you’re in the cockpit alone, you don’t see what’s happening. We will discuss it in a moment. Are we taking risks for the race win? Yes, we are taking risks.
“He had a tyre that was five laps old from the medium, holding position was the right thing to do. It didn’t work out for him but I’d rather than take the risk to win the race with Lewis rather than finish second and third.
Wolff added: “You can do two [other] things. You can pit Lewis and lose track position against Verstappen and leave George out, [you’re] screwed. You can leave both [out], screwed, so it was worth taking the risk.”
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