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Wolff 'struggles' with Hamilton Verstappen crash verdict

Wolff 'struggles' with Hamilton Verstappen crash verdict

Wolff 'struggles' with Hamilton Verstappen crash verdict

Wolff 'struggles' with Hamilton Verstappen crash verdict

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff conceded he 'struggled to comment' on Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen's collision at the São Paulo Grand Prix.

The two former title rivals came to blows following an early safety car restart after Verstappen made a bold lunge on the outside of turn one.

Although the Dutchman was briefly ahead, the natural flow of the circuit saw Hamilton regain the advantage into the second corner with Verstappen bumping over the kerb and making contact with the Mercedes.

The stewards ruled that the incident was "predominantly" of the Red Bull driver's making and handed him a five-second time penalty despite complaints that Hamilton had left him no room on the track.

Asked to provide his verdict on the situation after George Russell scored Mercedes' first win of the season, Wolff said: “I struggle to comment on the situation because it’s irrelevant to me at that stage to attribute guilt or to have a judgement call here.

“I’d rather be happy about the win.”

Mercedes "free racing" policy proven

While Red Bull and Alpine used team orders to attempt to manipulate the positions of their drivers, Mercedes resisted the urge to demand its drivers hold station following a late safety car period.

Instead, Russell was instructed that the pair were free to race but to simply be mindful of each other.

“I think as a team, we have always stood for free racing and we have never done otherwise unless a driver is mathematically not in contention anymore for the championship and the other one is," added Wolff

“We were actually looking forward to them racing with the same tyre and we discussed it ahead of the race in the strategy meeting.”

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