Toto Wolff explains X-rated radio message to Lewis Hamilton after disqualification

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explained his radio rant to Lewis Hamilton after finding out the Brit was disqualified from qualifying. The Brit had taken pole position in qualifying but was forced to start Saturday’s sprint race from the back of the grid. 

Title rival Max Verstappen questioned the legality of Hamilton’s drag reduction system (DRS) wing and the Dutchman was fined just over £42,000. 

A video surfaced of the 24-year-old touching the rear wing and DRS flap on Hamilton’s car in the pits after qualifying on Friday evening, which the Brit topped.

The DRS system is a flap in the rear wing, which opens up on straights to improve overtaking by reducing a car’s drag and increase top speed. 

Hamilton set the fastest time in qualifying for Saturday’s sprint race with a 1:07.934 but the DRS on his rear wing was flagged for not meeting set requirements during a post-qualifying inspection. 

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Mercedes team principal Wolff sent a definitive message to the Brit after he carved his way up from 20th to 5th in 24 laps during sprint qualifying ahead of the Brazillian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

Coming across the radio as Hamilton crossed the line, Wolff congratulated his driver for his “Brilliant job,” adding, “f*** them all.”

Hamilton came back over the radio with a defiant message to his main title rival Max Verstappen and Red Bull adding, “It’s not over.”

Wolff admitted that while he respected the decision, he was naturally disappointed with Hamilton’s penalty.

“I didn’t mean it towards any of the regulations. It’s generally a mindset that we have,” Wolff said of his reaction to Hamilton’s penalty. 

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“Yesterday the car was being tested and today two hours before the race we got the information that we were disqualified and that is in a way sad because there are procedures in Formula 1, there is a certain modus operandi and a protocol we have to follow.

“We failed consecutive tests by the tiniest margins and in the past that would have meant, fix it. We saw that with the Red Bull rear wing last weekend. The wing was simply damaged through the qualifying session.

“To be fair enough, the steward did the job, we failed that one test and their argument needs to be respected .

“This is why we also decided not to appeal, for philosophical reasons, if the stewards decide you have to take it on the chin, and it goes both ways.”

After being relegated to the back of the grid, Hamilton carved his way through the pack, overtaking 12 cars in 16 laps as he made his way up to finish fifth during the sprint race.

The performance means Hamilton will start the race P10 thanks to an engine penalty taken by Mercedes at the start of the weekend.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas overtook Verstappen and held on to secure pole position.

There are still 104 points up for grabs in the championship battle, with just four races remaining to decide who will become the 2021 Formula One world champion. 

Formula 1 returns to the Interlagos in Sao Paulo for the Brazilian Grand Prix on November 14, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a 19-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.

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