Mercedes has swapped a number of mechanics and engineers over from each car in order to ensure there is no divide in the team in the battle for the drivers’ championship. Following a run of poor reliability for Hamilton, Mercedes has become aware of accusations on social media that the defending champion’s new crew could be deliberately sabotaging his chances.
Wolff described the conspiracy theorists as “lunatics” on Sunday night and the Mercedes boss wants to try and protect the team members from such criticism.
“I think it’s very difficult to take people seriously out there who are lying in their bed with their laptop on their chest and sending out those abusive messages out,” Wolff said. “We are not taking that serious.
“You wonder what goes through people’s minds. Lewis has won two championships with that team in the past and we are always trying to give him the best possible go in any race. You just question yourself what’s going on in some people’s heads?”
Asked if the claims are hurtful to the engineers who work on the car, Wolff replied: “Yes and you know the reason why I’m being vocal about it is that I want to protect those guys.
“They are being hit by comments that are just inexcusable and unfair, abusive without any reason. If some of the guys read some of those comments they might take it personally and this is why I want to be very clear.
“We appreciate every rational and true comment and we take criticism very seriously. We have a core group of fans who are behind us and sometimes if we screw up we have to admit that isn’t the best we could have done and in the last couple of races we have done some mistakes and letting Lewis down with the engine is certainly one of them.
“We know that and we feel that much more than anyone else. But I think some of the guys take it pretty hard.”