Lewis Hamilton passed F1 championship rival Max Verstappen to claim an important victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix that reignited his title hopes, but only after overcoming several significant hurdles.  

The seven-time world champion was disqualified from Friday’s qualifying results after topping the session and sent to the back of the grid for Saturday’s sprint, before fighting his way back through to fifth. 

Hamilton had to serve an engine penalty for the main grand prix but remarkably stormed from 10th on the grid to overtake Verstappen to seal a hard-fought sixth victory of the season.

Wolff was unhappy with the decision to throw Hamilton out of qualifying after the DRS on his car failed post-session scrutineering due to being damaged. 

During Sunday’s grand prix, the stewards decided not to investigate Verstappen following a controversial move against Hamilton at Turn 4 that ended up with both drivers running wide. Wolff labelled the call as “laughable”. 

“I don’t want to moan here, because that is not how I see the sport,” Wolff said on Sunday when asked if he felt Mercedes had been treated unfairly. 

“I think we’ve just had many, many punches in the face this weekend with decisions that could have swung either side, against us or for us.

“When always the decisions swing against you, it’s just something that I’m just angry about, and I will defend my team, my drivers to what comes.

“I’ve always been very diplomatic in how I discuss things. But diplomacy has ended today.”

After new on-board footage from Verstappen’s car was released on Tuesday, Mercedes confirmed it had requested a right of review over Verstappen’s defensive manoeuvre in light of the “new evidence unavailable to the stewards at the time of their decision”. 

Following the race, Wolff stressed he has nothing against the principle of hard racing but explained his frustration over Verstappen’s move was the result of the rules which state drivers cannot force a rival off-track to gain a lasting advantage not being followed. 

“Whatever the rules are, if the rules say that’s on, which I would love to, that it’s on, then that’s fine,” Wolff said.

“I’m not discussing the principle of hard racing. Hard racing is super, and should be on. But not when it’s been clarified before that you can’t drive somebody off the track.”