Wolff: "Gloves are off" in Mercedes-Red Bull battle

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks it’s a "gloves off" battle with Red Bull in Formula 1 now, as the teams squared up on track and off it in Austria.

Wolff: "Gloves are off" in Mercedes-Red Bull battle
Listen to this article

While Mercedes emerged from the season opener at the Red Bull Ring with victory, it faced a fraught weekend as its rival protested its DAS, forced a review of Lewis Hamilton’s yellow flag infringement and then pushed it hard in the race.

Reflecting on the events of the weekend, Wolff said he did not think there was anything unusual about what Red Bull did, but he sees no quarter being given from now on.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he sensed a bit of raised tension with Red Bull now, Wolff said: “I found that the protest on Friday was actually fair play, but not on Sunday, so I recognise that. And fair enough, if you want to have a clarification you can do that.

“Coming back on Sunday morning, turning around a decision [on yellow flags] from yesterday, if you have new evidence, that is what the rules allow. And as I said before, you have to take that on the chin.

“I think that in the race, putting all these things together, the [Hamilton] penalty was too harsh. But coming back to your questions, the gloves are off.”

Read Also:

Red Bull boss Christian Horner was clear that his team had been unhappy about DAS for some time, so there was no particular hidden agenda behind what it did this weekend.

Asked if there was now some niggle between his outfit and Mercedes, he said: “Not really. I think that we've been clear from the outset that we've questioned the viability of the DAS system.

“You saw it used in the race and the drivers were instructed to use it to control tyre temperature. So is that steering?

“Anyway, it's been ruled legal. And so that's what it is. Now obviously teams will have the choice to go to try and develop their own equivalent system.”

World champion Hamilton, who was moved three places down the grid for ignoring yellow flags after the Red Bull request to review, did not sense any particular bad blood.

“I don't really think too much of the negative battle that goes on in the background,” he said. “That's all political. It's ultimately a power battle in the back, I would say, between a few individuals.”

shares
comments

Related video

How Renault plans to manage the "new" Alonso
Previous article

How Renault plans to manage the "new" Alonso

Next article

Mugello set for September slot on updated F1 calendar

Mugello set for September slot on updated F1 calendar
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022