Mercedes would have pushed for a full Formula 1 investigation into the manner of Yuki Tsunoda's Dutch Grand Prix retirement if they had been fighting for the title, Toto Wolff has admitted.
Both of Wolff's drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were attempting one-stop races at Zandvoort - and were set to run one-two in the closing stages as leader Max Verstappen required one more pitstop.
However, the cycle never got to play out as Yuki Tsunoda eventually triggered a Virtual Safety Car, allowing Verstappen to pit and emerge into the lead. Mercedes also boxed Hamilton and Russell at the opportunity.
The Japanese stopped his AlphaTauri, believing it to be a loose wheel, before a slow lap back to the pits where the team re-did his seat belts and sent him back out only to have him stop out on track and actually trigger the VSC.
Seeing as AlphaTauri is Red Bull's junior team, there was speculation on social media that it was a conspiracy orchestrated to help Verstappen win his home race.
Wolff rubbished those claims, but said if Mercedes were in the title fight, he'd have felt differently.
Viewed by others:
"It most likely changed the outcome of the race," Wolff explained to media including RacingNews365.com.
"Maybe we could have won the race, but hey, that's the sport. Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, it's not relevant to me.
"I don't think about it anymore, it just happened.
"If we had been fighting for the World Championship, it would certainly have been something we would have looked at closely, but for now I think it should be investigated mainly for the safety of the drivers and everyone involved," he added.
The FIA did investigate and found a differential failure to be root cause of Tsunoda's stoppage.
He has however been issued with a grid penalty for Monza after picking up his fifth reprimand of the season for driving with his belts undone.
F1 Podcast: What's next in F1's 2023 driver market?
Max Verstappen took his tenth win of 2022 at Zandvoort, but once again there was plenty of attention on off-track matters, with Oscar Piastri confirmed at McLaren for 2023, and Alpine left licking their wounds and searching for another driver.
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Dutch Grand Prix.