Toto Wolff has admitted that he intentionally put the screws to Ferrari after Carlos Sainz’s car was damaged in opening practice for the Las Vegas GP.
–by Mark Cipolloni–
In F1 the competition for big prize money is fierce. Hence, the knives are always out and if you have a chance to insert the knife into a competitor and twist it, you do.
Ruthless Toto Wolff is known to be good at knifing his competitors.
Ferrari was denied their appeal to avoid taking an engine penalty in Las Vegas after it was damaged by a loose manhole cover and not of their own doing.
Sainz’s unfortunate encounter with a drain cover led to an engine penalty consisting of 10 grid places for the race down the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
Wolff confirmed that Mercedes was indeed the team that shot down a penalty waiver for Ferrari. This decision not only affected Ferrari’s performance but also had a direct impact on the championship standings.
In an interview with RacingNews365, Wolff articulated his reasoning, highlighting the importance of adhering to regulations and the responsibility he holds towards the 2,500 team members at Mercedes:
“As a team principal for a rival team that is fighting for P2, I need to look at the regulations and at the full scope of possible actions of ourselves in order to finish P2 in the championship.
“If the regulation says so, I need to act for the benefit of the team and 2,500 people.
“If we lost the championship by five points because I have acted in sporting fairness, and the rules would have allowed me to actually penalise the car, I need to do this. Every other team principal will do it as much as it’s unfair.
“I need to decide, is it unfair for a rival driver? It is. But I have 2,500 people that I’m literally responsible for – that pay mortgages and school fees. So, it’s a no-brainer.”