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Wolff slates "hate speech and abuse" against Mercedes and F1 rivals

Wolff slates "hate speech and abuse" against Mercedes and F1 rivals

Wolff slates "hate speech and abuse" against Mercedes and F1 rivals

Wolff slates "hate speech and abuse" against Mercedes and F1 rivals

Toto Wolff has slated the "hate speech and abuse" directed towards Mercedes and its F1 rivals following the Dutch Grand Prix.

Controversy was sparked after Yuki Tsunoda stopped his AlphaTauri on track during the race at Zandvoort in the belief a wheel was loose.

After loosening his safety belts, the Japanese driver returned to the pits, had them re-tightened, was fitted with fresh tyres and sent back out only to stop again a handful of corners later.

The ensuing virtual safety car period allowed race leader Max Verstappen, who had been in a precarious position in his battle against the two Mercedes drivers, to pit without losing position.

Wolff himself questioned the events but after social media filled with abuse, much of this directed at Red Bull head of strategy Hannah Schmitz and the AlphaTauri team, he has spoken out against the abusers.

"Emotions were running high on social media after the last race, but hate speech and abuse directed at our team and our competitors have no place in F1," said Wolff.

"We compete hard on the track but we always have respect for our rivals.

"We didn't have the fastest car across the Dutch GP weekend, but the team did a fantastic job putting us in the mix to win the race and we need to ensure we're in that position on a more regular basis. "We took some risks in Zandvoort and not all of them worked; we exist to fight for victories and will never shy away from making bold decisions.

"We scored good points in our chase for P2 in the championship and it was fun to be back in the fight.

"Through everyone's hard work, we're edging closer to that first win of the season."

Mercedes limit Monza expectations

Mercedes has generally been on an upwards trajectory across the season, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell becoming regulars on the podium.

But the team suffered a blip in Belgium and lacked pace until the race itself as for the first time since Monaco, neither driver featured in the top three.

"This intense triple-header wraps up in Monza, an iconic venue with a rich history and heritage in motorsport, and of course the sea of red Tifosi," added Wolff. "While Zandvoort suited our car, Monza is likely to be a more challenging weekend owing to the circuit characteristics.

"But we're optimistic we'll be in better shape than other low-downforce tracks like Spa, thanks to our learning since then, and be pushing hard to be fighting for the podium again."

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