In full: Wolff’s “completely ridiculous” rant in defence of the Las Vegas GP

Toto Wolff has delivered a passionate defence of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, playing down the cancellation of first practice due to a loose drain cover.
(L to R): Susie Wolff (GBR) F1 Academy Managing Director with husband Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and
(L to R): Susie Wolff (GBR) F1 Academy Managing Director with husband Toto…

FP1 in Las Vegas was cut short after just eight minutes after Carlos Sainz sustained damage from a drain cover.

Sainz pulled to the side of the track, resulting in a red flag period, which soon ended up in the session being cancelled.

What soon transpired was that the Ferrari went over a loose drain cover, completely destroying the floor of his car.

The same happened to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with the Frenchman also requiring a chassis change.

The Ferrari SF-23 of Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23 is recovered back to the pits after hitting a manhole cover on
The Ferrari SF-23 of Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23 is recovered back…

It was naturally a hot topic in the FIA press conference as Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur vented his anger.

Similarly, Wolff was unhappy with a question from a reporter that suggested what happened in FP1 was a “black eye” for F1.

After giving an initial response, Wolff was interrupted by a reporter, leading to a passionate rant from the Austrian.

“That is not a black eye,” he said in reply to the first question. “This is nothing. We’re Thursday night, we have a free practice session that we’re not doing. They’re going to see the drain covers and no one is going to talk about it tomorrow morning anymore.”

Wolff's rant

“It’s completely ridiculous," he added. "Completely ridiculous. How can you even dare to talk bad about an event that sets the new standards, new standards to everything. 

“And then you’re speaking about a fuc**** drain cover that came undone that has happened before - it’s nothing, it’s FP1. Give credit to the people that have set up this grand prix, that have made this sport much bigger than it ever was. Have you ever spoken good about someone? And written a good word? You should talk about all these people that have been out there. 

“Liberty has done an awesome job and just because in FP1 and a drain cover has become undone we shouldn’t be moaning. The car is broken, that’s really a shame. 

“For Carlos it could have been dangerous so between the FIA, the track and everybody needs to analyse how we can make sure this is not happening again but to talk about a black eye for the sport on Thursday evening… no one watches it on European time anyway. Come on!”

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