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Toto Wolff

Mercedes call in police as Wolff delivers explosive response to Hamilton sabotage rumour

Toto Wolff has vented his fury to an anonymous email sent around the F1 paddock alleging that Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes W15 is being sabotaged.

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Toto Wolff has revealed Mercedes has called in police to investigate the architect of a malicious email claiming Lewis Hamilton is being sabotaged this season.

The Austrian addressed those behind the anonymous email, distributed to senior F1 and FIA officials, team principles and senior media - including RacingNews365 - the day after the Canadian Grand Prix, as well as confirming the matter was now in the hands of the police.

The unattributed email is purported to have been written by someone inside Mercedes - which Wolff emphatically denied - before turning his attention to online abuse and revealing the extent of the police investigation.

"It's not from a member of the team," the 52-year-old replied to media, including RacingNews365, when asked about the matter.

"When we are getting these kinds of emails, and we're getting tonnes of them, it is upsetting. Particularly when there's somebody talking about death and all these things. So on this particular one, I have instructed to go full force. We have the police inquiring into it.

"We are researching the IP address, we are researching the phone, all of that because online abuse in that way needs to stop. People can't hide behind their phones, or their computers and abuse teams or drivers in a way like this."

Wolff tells those behind the email and theories to see a therapist

Wolff was direct in his withering dismissal of people he calls "conspiracy theorists and lunatics" after the rumour that Hamilton's car is being deliberately sabotaged, going as far as telling those "mad" people to see a therapist.

The Mercedes team principal was clear to highlight the strength of his and the team's relationship with Hamilton, who will move to Ferrari at the end of the current F1 season.

"I don't know what some of the conspiracy theorists and lunatics think out there," he said. "Lewis [Hamilton] was part of the team for 12 years, we have a friendship, we trust each other. We want to end this on a high, we want to celebrate the relationship," he said.

"And if you don't believe all of that, you can believe that we want to win the constructors' world championship and part of the constructor's world championship is making both cars win. 

"So, to all of these mad people out there: take a shrink."

The Mercedes email

An edited version of the email reads: "Some of us in the team are unhappy about the systematic sabotaging of Lewis, his car, his tyre strategy, his race strategy, his mental health and the unprofessional way Toto, George and others are mistreating him.

"Lewis is excluded and some underhanded (sic) things are going on that people need to be aware of. Ask the questions and the truth will out, it is all in the data and is recorded.

"With the exception of Bono [Pete Bonnington, Hamilton's race engineer] and those of us who love Lewis, others are on a dangerous course that could ultimately be life-threatening to Lewis, other drivers, even the public.

"A cold tyre strategy is a death warrant."

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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