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Verstappen Hamilton battle "Brazil reloaded in miniature" - Wolff

Verstappen Hamilton battle "Brazil reloaded in miniature" - Wolff

Verstappen Hamilton battle "Brazil reloaded in miniature" - Wolff

Verstappen Hamilton battle "Brazil reloaded in miniature" - Wolff
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen's conduct at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was like "Brazil reloaded in miniature".

Amongst numerous flashpoints during the inaugural event at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the Red Bull driver's aggressive defence of the lead from Lewis Hamilton on lap 37 resembled his defence at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

That move was controversial as the Dutchman went unpunished despite running wide himself, with his move in Jeddah earning Verstappen a five-second penalty.

On Verstappen's conduct, Wolff suggested: "Some of the other turn one, turn two incidents, it was a little bit like Brazil reloaded in miniature.

Red Bull felt aggrieved by Hamilton's driving standards during the race, with his hijinks on the formation lap ahead of the first restart, where he left more than 10 car lengths between himself and Verstappen, causing particular ire.

On suggestions from Dr Helmut Marko that Mercedes were treated differently to Red Bull, Wolff insisted: “You need to dig quite deep to come up with things that went against Max on Sunday!

“I can’t comment on what they have said. I think, in Brazil, we felt that it was harsh against us with a disqualification for the sprint race and who would have thought that we could come back.

“I think that Lewis could have scored three points in that sprint race and didn’t score any and that could be valuable points.

“Someone is always going to be unhappy about things. I am trying to withhold my bias still to try to see it and look at things with common sense but I guess I am not always successful in the heat of the moment.”

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