Martin Brundle addresses ‘flippant’ Toto Wolff disqualification comments

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton speaking with Toto Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the U.S GP after his W14 failed a post-race inspection.

Martin Brundle has called out Toto Wolff for his “flippant” comment that he’d risk a disqualification in a bid to win a race, the former F1 driver believing Lewis Hamilton’s plank was a “reasonable chunk” outside the regulations.

Although Hamilton crossed the line second at the United States Grand Prix where he was just 2.2s behind race winner Max Verstappen, the Briton was later disqualified along with Charles Leclerc after the FIA found excessive plank wear on their respective challengers.

Hamilton has cited everything from the bumps at the Circuit of the Americas to the Sprint format as the extenuating circumstances behind the breach while insisting it brought no performance to the car.

Martin Brundle refutes Toto Wolff’s comments a DSQ was worth the risk

That’s been scoffed at by Danica Patrick, who says “it does, that’s why the rule is in place because lowering the car generally always makes it faster.”

As for his team boss Wolff, he not only stated that Mercedes thought their set-up may be on the “limit” but that they’d do it again.

“I take a disqualification running for a race win and seeing the performance against running P3 and ending up 25 seconds adrift,” he told Sky Sports.

“So every day of the week I’ll go for the disqualification.”

That was put to Brundle, who was asked whether it was worth the risk with the former F1 driver replying: “Absolutely not. I think Toto is being a flippant there.

“Toto and Lewis have done a very good job this weekend of saying nothing to see here, look at all those others they must have been cheating as well or whatever.

“Cheating is too strong a word -found to be outside of the regulations.

“But, you know, some teams lifted their cars to be certain because it was a Sprint weekend because it was bumpy, drivers taking kerbs, talk of a headwind pushing the cars down a little bit more even on the back straight.

“And I don’t believe that Mercedes was illegal by just a small amount, it was a reasonable chunk.”

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With the latest generation of Formula 1 cars designed to gain more performance the closer they run to the ground, the 64-year-old believes the FIA should test every single car’s skid after each race.

“Also I think we have an exceptional circumstance here, we know how much performance comes from lowering these ground-effect aerodynamic cars,” he continued.

“They should be paying more attention post-race. And by the way I think the FIA do a great job of policing the technical aspects of Formula 1, post-race they should be checking all of the skids.”

Jenson Button reveals why only four cars were checked

His fellow pundit and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button agreed.

“I’m surprised that Toto said that but as you said, it was probably a flippant remark because nobody wants to be called cheating,” he said. “It looks very bad for the team, very bad for the OEM also.”

But with Hamilton and Wolff adamant other cars would be illegal had the FIA checked more than just four cars, Max Verstappen and Lando Norris’ cars also inspected, Button revealed the reasoning behind motorsport’s governing body’s decision to only look at four cars.

“The information that was interesting to me that I didn’t know and a lot of people probably didn’t know is that they checked two cars, because they thought those two would be outside the regulations,” he said.

“And when they checked them, and they were correct they were illegal, they checked two other cars just to make sure their information and data was correct. And those two were legal, which was Max and Lando Norris, so the FIA doing the right thing. Checking all the cars is a tricky one and I’m sure it’s going to come up again with the FIA.”

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