After seven-time world champion Hamilton crashed at Mirabeau in the closing stages of final practice, his car was seen dramatically dangling high in the air as it was craned away from the circuit. 

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With the upgraded W14 suspended mid-air, the floor design was completely exposed, enabling rival aerodynamicists to get a good look at a key area teams usually try to keep secret. 

Mercedes team principal Wolff joked that renowned circus company Cirque du Soleil must have been responsible for the recovery of Hamilton’s heavily-updated car. 

“Well, whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil,” Wolff said. 

“Honestly, that I don’t even comprehend. The car was on the road.

“You could have put it on a truck. You’re showcasing a car to everyone in the world.

“That was sub-optimum for us, to say the least.”

A similar scene was witnessed when Sergio Perez’s Red Bull was lifted into the Monaco sky following his crash in qualifying. 

“Checo’s car was the same? The same thing? You see, I didn’t see that…So they’re all from Cirque du Soleil,” Wolff added. 

Wolff made it clear he was joking and underlined he appreciates the work done by circuit marshals. 

“By the way don’t thrash the stewards [marshals],” he said. 

“The Cirque du Soleil is OK, but everybody is doing their best and I don’t want to be the team principal that lashes out on stewards [marshals] that are doing their job.”