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Mercedes

Wolff claims Hamilton penalty argument 'invalid'

The Briton was punished for a collision with Perez.

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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has insisted it takes "two to tango" after Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Sergio Perez at the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint.

Seven-time champion Hamilton was behind Perez in the battle for fourth when the Mexican began to struggle for pace.

The Red Bull driver slid wide at Stavelot, allowing Hamilton to make the move to the inside at Paul Frere ready for the run to Blanchimont.

But the pair made contact when side-by-side, leaving Perez with sidepod damage and Hamilton with a hit to his floor.

Perez slid backwards down the field with a lack of rear grip across the next lap before going into the gravel at Stavelot, eventually peeling into the pits and retiring.

The FIA race stewards adjudged Hamilton to have been predominantly to blame for the incident, a decision which prompted a warning from the Briton over deterring racing.

We want to see racing

Addressing the collision and subsequent penalty that dropped Hamilton from fourth to seventh in the final classification, Wolff told media including RacingNews365: "An absolute racing incident.

"This is a Sprint race, we want to see them racing. The argument of there being damage isn't valid because he was going backwards before then, massively backwards.

"They were side-by-side. Fair enough, it takes two to tango but it is a racing incident - it is pretty clear."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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