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Why Mercedes won't "keep a lid" on Hamilton Verstappen title tension

Why Mercedes won't "keep a lid" on Hamilton Verstappen title tension

F1 News

Why Mercedes won't "keep a lid" on Hamilton Verstappen title tension

Why Mercedes won't "keep a lid" on Hamilton Verstappen title tension
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff sees no reason why the team should "keep a lid" on the tension between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the battle for the F1 drivers' title.

Tempers frayed during an astonishing inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where the championship protagonists were seldom out of the limelight.

Hamilton was left frustrated after losing the lead during a red flag period, whilst multiple near-misses between the pair at turn one eventually culminated in a bizarre collision into the final corner, with Verstappen attempting to surrender position after gaining advantage off-track.

With accusations being pointed in each direction during and after the chaotic 50 laps in Jeddah, Wolff was asked if the teams were able to keep a lid on the rising tensions ahead of the season-finale in Abu Dhabi.

“I don’t think we need to keep a lid on it," insisted Wolff. "The emotions are running very high.

“There is a lot of respect between the teams also for the achievements and that is why as long as we have a clean race, fighting for a drivers’ world championship in Abu Dhabi, it was a great season.”

Verstappen was penalised five seconds for his robust defence of the lead on lap 37 and then a further 10-seconds for instigating the crash with Hamilton.

Asked if the Dutchman's actions had gone too far past the limit, the Austrian replied: “It was very hard, very hard.

"In a way, I can understand that he is fighting for his first world championship and there was so much confusion also in the race and so many moments I would have judged as over the line.

"But I want to look at the race on Monday again in all calmness and reassess.”

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