Mercedes boss hits out at "lunatic" conspiracy theorists

Toto Wolff says he has no time for conspiracy theorists who have used social media to suggest that Mercedes has deliberately sabotaged Lewis Hamilton this season.

Mercedes boss hits out at "lunatic" conspiracy theorists
Winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team in parc ferme
Press conference: second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates with team mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 and the team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Press conference: second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team celebrates with the team
Press conference: winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Podium: winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Hamilton's championship hopes have been hindered by reliability problems, as teammate Nico Rosberg has gone untroubled to take four wins in a row this year.

Wolff branded conspiracy theorists as "lunatics" and said that he could not take them seriously.

"First of all of course we don't do it deliberately," said Wolff. "The team has been abused in some of the social media, and conspiracy theories are out there.

"My response is I don't even want to acknowledge this bunch of lunatics who think that we would harm a driver, who is our driver, who has been a double world champion for us.

"He hasn't let us down and we wouldn't let him down. This is a mechanical sport, and these things happen.

"As a matter of fact we had a problem on Nico's car, which gave us some grey hair during the race, a problem on the MGU-K drive. It looked at a certain stage that he wouldn't finish the race.

"So we are pushing the limits on the chassis and engine side a lot in order to have a competitive car, and this is why we are winning races. But also if you push the limits at a certain stage you find them," Wolff added.

Not taking it seriously

Asked how he would respond to conspiracy theorists, he said: "I think that it's very difficult to take people serious out there who are lying in their bed with their laptop on their chest and are sending those abusive messages out.

"We're not taking that seriously. You wonder what goes through people's minds. Lewis has won two championships with that team in the past, and we're always trying to give him the best possible go in any race.

"What would the response be? You just question what's going on in some people's heads."

Wolff says he doesn't want negative comments to have an impact on Hamilton's crew.

"The reason why I am being vocal about it is because I want to protect those guys. They are being hit by comments that are just inexcusable and unfair, abusive without any reason.

"If some of the guys read those comments you might take it personally. This is why I want to be very clear. We appreciate every rational and every true comment, and we take criticism very seriously. We have a core group of fans who are really behind us.

"Sometimes if we just screw up it's about admitting that wasn't the best we could have done, and in the last couple of races we've done some mistakes, and letting Lewis down with the engine is certainly one of them.

"We know that and feel that more than anybody else. I think for some of the guys they take it pretty hard."

shares
comments
Silver Arrows seal Sochi one-two in high tension Russian GP
Previous article

Silver Arrows seal Sochi one-two in high tension Russian GP

Next article

Ferrari: Raikkonen on the podium in Sochi

Ferrari: Raikkonen on the podium in Sochi
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021