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Toto Wolff

Wolff refutes McLaren claim over Verstappen-Norris crash

Toto Wolff's Mercedes team was the biggest benefactor of the late-race clash between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has denied there is a correlation between Max Verstappen's clash with Lando Norris in Austria and his previous on-track behaviour battling Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen collided with Norris late on at the Austrian Grand Prix while fighting for victory, resulting in terminal damage for the latter.

The Dutchman was deemed at fault for the incident by the stewards, who issued Verstappen a 10-second time penalty.

After the race, McLaren team principal Andrea Stella suggested Verstappen's driving was a result of matters that were “not addressed properly in the past when there were some fights with Lewis” during the 2021 title fight.

However, Wolff disagrees with Stella's suggestion.

“I don’t think you can take this conclusion,” Wolff told media including RacingNews365. “It’s been so long.

“From our side, we are in a different place today, and I think he is.

“It takes two to tango. I haven’t seen the race, to be honest, I haven’t Lando and Max’s race. I haven’t seen how all of that came about.

“I first need to watch it before I have an opinion but I wouldn’t see that as a big consequence of 2021 not having been managed well to what happened in 2024.

“I don’t think they have a correlation.”

Wolff concedes P3 would have been 'solid result'

The clash between Verstappen and Norris allowed Mercedes' George Russell to sneak through for victory, the team's first of the season.

Wolff asserted Mercedes was content with finishing on the final podium spot before the incident at the front of the field.

“We are all trying to be rational, we were on for P3,” Wolff stated. 

“That’s where the pace of the car was and what George was able to extract, it was a solid result.

“You see these two in the front driving each other hard. We know they're really good friends and it was fun to watch, this is how I perceived it at that stage.

“But obviously, then it got a bit more fierce and at a certain stage, we said ‘it could be possible that they collide’ and then it literally happened.

“Both of them with the puncture, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.”

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