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Monaco Grand Prix 2023

Wolff shocked by Hamilton 'Cirque du Soleil' car removal

But the Mercedes Team Principal insisted volunteering track workers must not be criticised.

Hamilton Monaco crash
To news overview © XPB Images

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has joked the retrieval of Lewis Hamilton's stricken car in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix was like "Cirque du Soleil".

Hamilton slid wide at Mirabeau at the end of FP3 and forced to end the session despite making minimal contact with the barrier.

His heavily-upgraded W14 was hoisted high above the circuit by a crane as it was cleared from the scene of the incident, allowing photographers to direct their lenses towards the underbelly of the car, taking away the secrecy of Mercedes' new floor.

Far from pleased with the removal method, Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com: "Whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil before.

"I mean honestly... bad. I don't even comprehend - the car was on the road, you could have put it on the truck rather than showcasing a car to everyone in the world.

"That was sub-optimum for us to say the least."

Don't thrash the workers

Sergio Perez crashed out in Q1 later in the day, making heavy contact with the barriers at Sainte Devote.

Red Bull has been dominant under the new regulations introduced by F1 last season but with Perez's car also picked up by a crane, rivals were given a valuable opportunity to pry into Adrian Newey's engineering excellence.

Wolff quipped: "Checo's car was the same? I didn't see that. So they are all from Cirque du Soleil!"

But warning against criticising the corner marshals, who work voluntarily at each event to ensure the sport can survive, Wolff added: "Don't thrash them.

"Everybody is doing their best and I don't want to be the Team Principal who lashes out at people doing their job."

F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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