Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained his "f*** them all" remark in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's sensational sprint performance ahead of the São Paulo Grand Prix.
From the back of the grid after being disqualified from qualifying for a technical infringement with his car, Hamilton climbed a stunning 15 places over the 24-lap sprint to finish fifth.
A five-place grid penalty for another change of internal combustion engine means the seven-time F1 champion will start from 10th, and remarkably in with a shot at the podium, if not victory itself given the pace advantage of his W12.
At the end of the sprint, Wolff took to the radio and said to Hamilton: "Lewis, brilliant job. Damage limitation. F*** them all", to which the Briton simply replied: "Copy. It's not over yet."
Explaining his remarks, Wolff said: "I obviously didn't mean anything towards the regulations.
"It's generally a mindset that we have that sometimes when there is hardship you need to build up resilience, and that's what was meant by saying 'f*** them all'."
Wolff has revealed Hamilton's rear wing failed the test by 0.2mm when 85mm is the maximum allowed when the DRS slot gap is open.
Mercedes, however, has opted not to appeal the decision.
"The point is that yesterday the car was being tested, and today, two hours before the race we got the information we were disqualified," added Wolff.
"That is, in a way, sad. There are procedures in Formula 1, certain modus operandi, a protocol you have to follow, and we had a car that was in breach of the regulations of the 85mm slot gap.
"We failed consecutive tests by the tiniest of margins, and in the past, that would have meant fixing it.
"We've seen it with the Red Bull rear wing this weekend. We have had many barge board things, bit failures that were put back because the FIA has our cut drawings, they had the wings.
"We wanted to leave the wing with them so they could cut it into a thousand pieces. We weren't allowed to look at the wing, it was simply damaged through qualifying.
"None of these arguments counted, and fair enough, the stewards did their job. We failed that one test, and their argument needs to be respected.
"This is why we also decided not to appeal the decision, simply because of these philosophical reasons.
"If the stewards decide, then you have to take it on the chin and it goes both ways."
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