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Toto Wolff

Wolff: Hamilton podium silences 'brainless' sabotage accusers

A recent suggestion that Lewis Hamilton is being sabotaged by Mercedes has been heavily refuted by the team.

Hamilton podium Spain
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has fired back at those suggesting the squad is intentionally sabotaging Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion took his first podium result of the season at the Spanish Grand Prix, crossing the line in third place.

Hamilton has struggled for performance this year and has often been out-paced by team-mate George Russell, in what is his final season with the team ahead of his switch to Ferrari next season.

An email sent to F1 media and senior sport officials claimed that Hamilton's car was being sabotaged, with Mercedes bringing in the police to deal with the matter. 

Speaking after the race in Barcelona, Wolff expressed joy over Hamilton's return to the podium.

“These conspiracy theorists, I have zero respect for, because they have no brain,” Wolff told media including RacingNews365.

“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.”

Mercedes 'carefully optimistic' over pace

Having struggled for pace relative to its rivals for much of the season, Mercedes' performance in Spain should leave it “carefully optimistic” going forward, according to Wolff.

“When you look where we ended up, obviously George on the hard tyre was the wrong strategy, clearly that goes on the team,” Wolff said.

“And we had a slow stop that was three seconds. If you look at where Lewis was, 15 seconds behind the leaders, while taking the pace out at the end, so maybe call it 10 seconds.

“So that’s much closer, they weren’t holding back, Max [Verstappen] and [Lando] Norris. 

“So there’s a reason to be carefully optimistic that we are much closer and will be able to fight.”

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