Toto Wolff has explained why he feels his driver Lewis Hamilton was right not to receive a turn one penalty despite going off the circuit and why Max Verstappen was a guilty party on the first lap incident.
The Mercedes team principal has defended Hamilton's move to cut across the grass at turn one after locking his front brakes, missing turn two completely, and rejoining back in the lead on the first lap.
Verstappen was handed a five-second post-race time penalty for the same offence, dropping him to from third to fifth before being reprieved to fourth by Sebastian Vettel's penalty, but Wolff feels as Hamilton's off-track incident was in the first lap and a mistake which wasn't caused by defending a position the stewards' decision not to penalise the British driver was correct.
Wolff went on to say he felt the young Dutch driver was fortunate not to be penalised for his part in a turn one bump with Nico Rosberg, which saw Rosberg also go off track but retain his second place.
“I think the big difference it was a lap one incident and on the other side you could also say that Max could have got a penalty for banging wheels with the championship leader into Turn 1 and pushing him off the track,” Wolff said. “I think maybe the penalty he got at the end was a consequence of all the driving.
“As refreshing as it is, and how ruthless the great ones are - and this is just my opinion and I won't comment on the other one – if you race the championship leader three races down to the end wheel banging is not what should happen.”
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“I think it was lap one to our defence and so that is different. It wasn't in defending a position. It was happening further back and I think that is why the stewards were pretty liberal in that first corner because they didn't penalise Max either. I think weighing up the two, it was probably the right call for both.”
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Christian Horner have both asked the FIA to reinstall gravel traps at certain corners to deter drivers from cutting corners without receiving penalties or disadvantages.
READ: Ricciardo, Horner demand deterrents after turn one furore
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