Wolff calls for FIA stewards to be respected

Date published: June 9 2019

Toto-Wolff-PA

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said the FIA’s decision to punish Sebastian Vettel with a five-second penalty in Canada has to be respected.

The controversial penalty given to the Ferrari driver has caused widespread uproar, with many believing that the penalty was harsh and that Vettel was in fact the worthy winner of the Canadian Grand Prix.

But, the official result means it is Hamilton who has bagged a fifth win in seven races to further extend his World Championship lead. Vettel hanging on to second from team-mate Charles Leclerc.

The FIA have come in for some very heavy criticism with Vettel unsurprisingly leading the complaints, but Wolff wants people to put the pitchforks away.

Wolff told Sky Sports: “I am of course bias towards Mercedes and if there is a rule that says you need to leave a car’s width when you go off the track and I think his instinctive reaction was ‘I need to protect this position’ even if it was a tiny bit too far.

“If you’re a Ferrari fan, or somebody who’s keen on seeing hard racing, then I think you’d like to see a bit more bumper cars.

“The race stewards are people who need to be supported. There’s Emanuele [Pirro] up there, it doesn’t get any more professional or experienced than Emanuele, and I think that they’ve looked at the incident and that needs to be respected. We shouldn’t ignite it even more.”

Wolff then brought up the pit-lane incident between Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas in Monaco, saying Mercedes did not complain about that controversial incident.

He said: “In Monaco, Valtteri [Bottas] was squeezed against the pit wall, and we thought that the five second penalty [to Max Verstappen] was a bit lenient.

“We didn’t complain about it, we just took it. Sometimes decisions go for you, sometimes they go against you.”

“They have come up with a controversial decision but they have just put into place what is black and white.

“We need to rely on regulations and this is why we go racing, if we want to change regulations and I’m up for that.”

Sky Sports F1 presenter Martin Brundle challenged Wolff’s opinion, but the Mercedes boss did not want to get involved in a big debate.

“Listen Martin I’m not going to argue with that one,” he said.

“It’s never 100 percent black and white. Wherever you stand its 60/40 decision, for and 60/40 against, and fair enough to interpret the other way and I respect your opinion.

“I think a win is a win and you need to take the points you would rather do it clean on track but you have to take these days also.

“I think the stewards will always polarise the race, they penalised it, sometimes it looks lenient, sometimes it looks hard but you need to take it even if it goes against you.”

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