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Wolff expecting same penalty if Hamilton repeats Verstappen move

Wolff expecting same penalty if Hamilton repeats Verstappen move

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Wolff expecting same penalty if Hamilton repeats Verstappen move

Wolff expecting same penalty if Hamilton repeats Verstappen move
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Toto Wolff has refused to denounce Lewis Hamilton's commitment to repeat his move on Max Verstappen if necessary in future, accepting the potential of more penalties if the pair clash on track again.

Mercedes team principal Wolff is keen to de-escalate the feud with Red Bull after a series of back-and-forth jibes between the two teams since the pair’s collision and Hamilton’s subsequent 10-second penalty at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton has been quoted as saying he would "do it again exactly as I've done it in the past" with regard to another move on Verstappen similar to that at Copse that resulted in the Red Bull driver crashing into a tyre barrier at 150mph.

Asked if that was a cause for concern, Wolff simply replied: “I think he would probably get another 10-second penalty if that is the precedent that the stewards set.”

Hamilton "robust and resilient"

The controversial clash, in which Hamilton clipped Verstappen’s right-rear wheel to send the Dutchman into a spin that led to a 51G impact, resulted in the British driver receiving a significant amount of online racist abuse.

Wolff, though, is confident Hamilton has not been affected ahead of this weekend’s race in Hungary. He added: “He is very robust and resilient because history made him like that.

"We spoke a lot but it wasn’t a big part of the discussion. We know each other pretty well and our communication is often transparent and at no time was there negativity around anything that could have affected him or me.

“It was more about assessing the situation and discussing the Hungary performance, so it didn’t harm him or anything like that.”

Wolff - Up to Red Bull to apologise if they see fit

Wolff has suggested Red Bull’s ‘hysteria’ around the incident, in which team principal Christian Horner branded Hamilton "dangerous", "desperate" and "an amateur", had caused the backlash on Hamilton.

The Austrian feels it led to an “avalanche” of abuse across social media but drew short of asking directly for an apology from his opposite number, suggesting it was up to Red Bull to do the right thing.

Wolff added: “Formula One needs content and controversy. As long as it is allowed the sport can be quite entertaining, but there is a certain boundary that we need to respect.

“Everyone needs to decide whether they want to apologise or not. We felt that comments made during and after the race and in a written statement and a meeting itself were below the belt.

"But it’s not up to me, nor would Lewis want to demand, any apologies.”

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