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Toto Wolff threatened to stop Lewis Hamilton racing – “There was some selfish behaviour”

Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 28, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Image source: Clive Mason - Formula 1/ Getty Images


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff seriously considered stopping Lewis Hamilton from racing. The Brit was team-mates with Nico Rosberg four years ago. Wolff was appointed Mercedes boss in January 2013 with Hamilton and Rosberg already in the door. Hamilton accused Rosberg of deliberately crashing into him at the Belgian Grand Prix and Wolff had to come down hard on his two stars.

“It was very difficult because I came into the team as a newcomer in Formula 1, and Nico and Lewis had been in the sport for much longer,” Wolff told the High Performance Podcast. “But still, I was able to create an environment where they had to respect the team.

“Sometimes with an iron fist, or iron grip, and they understood that they couldn’t let us down, they couldn’t let Mercedes down. The events of 2014, where I felt there was some selfish behaviour, I said that the next time you come close to the other car, your team-mate, you think about the Mercedes brand, you think about single individuals in the team, you think about Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Mercedes.

“That’s probably going to change the way you act; you’re not going to put your team-mate in the wall. And I always made it clear that if this were to happen regularly, and I would see a pattern, then I have no fear in making somebody miss races.”

Hamilton won the first three world titles of Wolff’s tenure before Rosberg clinched a dramatic crown in 2016. Wolff made it clear who was in control of the team.

“The thing the drivers want the most is to compete in a car,” Wolff added. “And you always need to be very clear that you compete in the car if you understand the team game. “And it’s much more difficult because there are only two drivers in the team and it’s not easy to find a replacement, and a replacement on that level.

“But I’m prepared to sacrifice a race or two just to make it clear for all future generations that are going to drive for Mercedes that that’s not on.”


Source: Express/ *Join us on Telegram!/ Follow us on Twitter!


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