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Wolff: These conspiracy theorists have no brain

Wolff: These conspiracy theorists have no brain

Wolff: These conspiracy theorists have no brain

Toto Wolff was asked whether Lewis Hamilton’s podium in the Spanish Grand Prix was an answer to the email alleging that Mercedes were sabotaging the Briton’s final season with the team.

Over the course of Formula 1‘s weekend in Barcelona, a story emerged about an anonymous email claiming Mercedes were sabotaging Hamilton’s 2024 campaign.

George Russell has been outperforming Hamilton in 2024, and the sender of the email who claimed to be a Mercedes employee allegedly insisted that the reason for that was deliberate favoritism by the team for the younger Briton.

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However in Barcelona, it was Hamilton that enjoyed a better weekend, outqualifying Russell and having a better strategy in the race meant the seven-time F1 Champion finished third, his first podium in 2024, while Russell  finished fourth.

Speaking to the media after the race, including GrandPrix247, Wolff was asked whether Hamilton’s podium will shut down the conspiracy theorists, he responded: “These conspiracy theorists I have zero respect for, because they have no brain.

“We want a car that wins races and championships and who doesn’t get that should be watching another sport. But it’s good to see that he [Hamilton] has a great weekend, because it has been a while that he was on the receiving end, and strategy has worked against him, and today that was in his favour.

“And rightly so, so I’m happy that we have that earned that podium for him, because it has been a while,” the Mercedes boss insisted.

There will always be rivalry between drivers

2NK8EFW HAMILTON Lewis (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W14, portrait RUSSELL George (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W14, portrait during the Formula 1 Armco pre-season testing 2023 of the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship from February 23 to 25, 2023 on the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain - Photo DPPI

Russell and Hamilton had a moment of tension in qualifying the former not happy with how his teammate was conducting his out lap, Wolff commented: “There will always be a rivalry between two drivers, especially when the car that becomes capable to win.

“But the two are very respectful with each other. We are transparent in the team that’s the best I have learned that they are not holding back. We’re not letting anything grow in terms of animosity,” he maintained.

The race in Barcelona showed that Red Bull Racing and McLaren are in a league of their own. In qualifying, Lando Norris was on pole only 0.020s ahead of Max Verstappen, while Hamilton was over three tenths adrift in third.

The situation was the same in the race with Verstappen winning, a little over two seconds ahead of Norris while Hamilton was over 15s further behind in third.

However Wolff, while cautious, hopes to get closer with the aim of fighting for wins, he said: “When you look where we ended up, obviously George on the hard was the wrong strategy.

“Clearly that was on the team and we had a slow stop with three seconds. But if you look at where, Lewis was 15 seconds behind the leaders, while taking the pace out of the end, maybe call it 10 seconds. So that’s much closer.

“They weren’t holding back Max and Norris,” Wolff pointed out. “So yeah, it’s a reason to be carefully optimistic that we are much closer and we’ll be able to fight.”

Mercedes remain fourth in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ Championship with 151 points, 86 points behind McLaren who are third.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier from Barcelona)