Wolff: Hamilton’s Barcelona podium quashes ‘conspiracy theorists’


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons that Lewis Hamilton's long-awaited podium finish at the Spanish Grand Prix was the perfect rebuttal to conspiracy theorists.

The Backley squad’s build-up to the Barcelona race was disrupted by an anonymous email alleging sabotage against Hamilton within the Mercedes team.

The nefarious email, sent to selected members of the F1 community, including media, claimed that Hamilton wasn't receiving equal treatment from the German outfit and was being disadvantaged in favor of teammate George Russell.

Last weekend, Wolff vehemently denied the allegations, stating they did not originate from within Mercedes.

The Austrian took the matter a step further, forwarding the email to the Northamptonshire police. While the police found no evidence of a crime, they encouraged Mercedes to remain vigilant and report any future suspicious communications.

Hamilton’s strong performance in Spain, where he qualified third and finished the race in the same position, was promptly applauded by Wolff.

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He viewed the result not only from a sporting perspective but also as a response to the outlandish accusations leveled at Mercedes.

“These conspiracy theorists, I have zero respect for, because they have no brain,” Wolff told the media after last Sunday's race.

“We want a car that wins races and championships and who doesn’t get that should be watching another sport.

“It’s good to see that he has had a great weekend, because it has been a while that he has been on the receiving end and strategy has worked against.

“But today that went in his favour and so I am happy we have that podium for him because it has been a while.”

With Russell concluding his Sunday drive in Barcelona right behind Hamilton in fourth place, Wolff believed that his team’s aggregate result further solidified his “cautious optimism” about Mercedes inching closer to the battle at the front between Red Bull and McLaren.

"When you look where we ended up, obviously George on the hard was the wrong strategy, clearly that was on the team, and we had a slow stop with three seconds,” he observed.

"But if you look at where Lewis was, 15 seconds behind the leaders while taking the pace out of the end, so maybe call that 10 seconds - that's much closer.

"They weren't holding back Max and Norris. So yeah, it's a reason to be carefully optimistic that we are much closer, and we'll be able to fight."


Nevertheless, Wolff remains convinced that Red Bull and McLaren still hold a significant advantage over their pursuing rivals.

"The McLaren looked very quick," he added. "How quick? I think Max always has a little bit in his pocket and you can see that he makes the difference.

"Definitely these two at the moment, there's not a lot between them. They are definitely setting the benchmark."

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