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F1 Brazilian GP: Alonso on Wolff's Verstappen call: Just doing his job

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have taken opposing views on Toto Wolff's approach to the Verstappen family asking to avoid direct influence in the world title battle.
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have taken opposing views on Toto Wolff's approach to Jos Verstappen asking his son Max to avoid causing direct influence in the F1 world title battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

It was reported Wolff had approached the Verstappen clan ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix to give advice which the Mercedes team principal confirmed but 'only out of sympathy' to avoid any 'negative spin' if the driver got involved in the battle between the two world championship contenders.

READ: Wolff explains reasons for Jos Verstappen phone call

This led to a furious reaction from Red Bull boss Christian Horner who saw it as unnecessary interference from a chief of a rival team.

Button gave his opinion following the line of Horner and while Alonso felt it was not the right thing to do by the Mercedes team principal he completely understood the motivation behind it with his two drivers battling for the F1 world crown.

“Toto is doing his job,” Alonso said. “There are two guys driving at their maximum, there are mechanics changing tyres in less than two seconds and this is the team principal trying to win the world championship.

Button disagreed: “Amazing, love that. I know that they race on their own most weekends but I think that is a shame if that is true. We are here to race is it not just those guys.”

Reflecting on the situation, Nico Rosberg backed up his team principal's comments but doesn't believe any of his F1 rivals outside of the title race will treat either him or Hamilton differently in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“It's normal for other drivers not to drive differently just because other guys are driving for the championship, because it's not their problem,” Rosberg said. “But we need to try and drive within the limits.

“A lot of penalties have been given recently so that's why its maybe worth them to consider if at least half a gear, or half of whatever of something more relaxed, could be the right direction.”

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ProfessorDave

November 13, 2016 12:28 PM

Both Merc drivers are vulnerable as they have to think about points - if either of them DNFs he effectively loses the championship. On the other hand Max Verstappen will have just one thing in mind - the race win. Interesting that Jos Verstappen chose to make Wolff's personal phone call public knowledge!



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