Ex-F1 manager urges Wolff to show Hamilton ‘more respect’ after Austria rebuke

Former Williams and Ferrari F1 manager Peter Windsor has urged Toto Wolff to show Lewis Hamilton “more respect” following the German’s intervention over team radio at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Monaco Grand
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. …

With Hamilton frustrated and complaining about Mercedes’ lack of pace, and the track limits penalty he had received early on, Wolff took to team radio on two occasions to communicate with his star driver.

Wolff interjected midway through the race on Sunday with a stern message, saying: “Lewis, the car is bad, we know. Please drive it.”

Remote video URL

Windsor - who is a respected F1 expert given his years in the sport as a team manager and journalist - admitted that Wolff’s comment left “a bad taste in the mouth”.

“There was a comment from Toto Wolff two-thirds of the way through the race which, for me, left a little bit of a bad taste in the mouth because it was Lewis again going on about track limits,” Windsor said in his latest YouTube video.

“It was a bit like that comment to Charles Leclerc in Canada – a bit schoolmaster talking to the pupil – and he said: ‘Yes, Lewis, we know the car is bad. Get on and drive the race, please.’

“I just thought, ‘Wow’, [firstly] for all the song and dance about the [upgrades] and how improvements are there and they’re moving forward and the setup and getting the tyres in the right window.

“And [secondly], to speak to Lewis like that – ‘get on and race’ – this guy’s a seven-times World Champion, he does deserve a little bit more respect than that, I think.”

(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
(L to R): Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive…

Windsor believes radio messages like Wolff don’t need to be broadcast on TV all the time.

“I just felt a little bit uneasy hearing that. It probably goes on all the time but I just wish we didn’t hear all the radio all the time if it’s going to be like that.

“I’m surprised. If anything’s going to be driving Lewis crazy it’s going to be stuff like that because, if nothing else, he wants to enjoy his racing now.

“There’s not much else to do because he ain’t going to be winning, the car’s not very good, he’s got the British Grand Prix coming up – his race, if you like – so at least just enjoy it even if he’s midfield.

“But if you’re going to be spoken to like that by your team principal it’s not really fun either, is it? I wouldn’t have thought it was anyway.

“Maybe Lewis can shrug it off. He seems to be able to shrug everything else off [that’s happened] over the last two years very impressively, so good luck to him if he can do that.”

Read More