Toto Wolff issues blunt radio message to Lewis Hamilton during Austrian Grand Prix

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023. Toto Wolff

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

Toto Wolff had to get on the radio to Lewis Hamilton in an attempt to calm his driver during a terse Austrian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes team boss had to intervene during a radio exchange between Lewis Hamilton and race engineer Pete Bonnington, after a tough race for the seven-time World Champion.

Hamilton was the first driver to be hit with a track limits time penalty during the race at the Red Bull Ring, with the British driver exceeding track limits on more than three occasions in the first 15 laps – first picking up a black and white flag warning before the penalty was issued.

Lewis Hamilton complains about track limits penalties

Hamilton made his feelings very clear about disagreeing with the track limits penalties, complaining about how his Mercedes W14 “just wouldn’t turn”, before getting on the radio on consecutive laps to inform his team (and therefore the stewards) that Sergio Perez was consistently exceeding track limits in his Red Bull.

Running in seventh place in the closing stages of the race, Hamilton got on the radio to Bonnington to add to his earlier complaint and enquire whether more drivers had been hit with track limits penalties: “Is there a reason why the stewards haven’t given out those penalties yet?”

With Bonnington replying to say that the stewards were “still dishing out warnings and penalties”, he chose not to offer details on specific drivers as none of the drivers in front of Hamilton were relevant to him, Toto Wolff got on the radio.

“Lewis, the car is bad. We know,” Wolff stated in an audibly exasperated tone of voice.

“Please drive it.”

At the time of writing, with 10 laps remaining in the race, Hamilton runs in seventh place and 10 seconds clear of Mercedes teammate George Russell.

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