Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner have their latest respective says on the fallout from the controversy of Silverstone
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 30/07/21 1:59pm
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes Red Bull’s criticism of Lewis Hamilton went a “step too far”.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, meanwhile, described a statement issued by Mercedes on Thursday night as a “little antagonistic” – but said his team’s remarks about Hamilton over the incident were “nothing personal” against the seven-time world champion.
With the ongoing fallout from the collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen at Silverstone continuing into the Hungarian GP weekend, stewards on Thursday rejected Red Bull’s attempt to hold a review into the incident and the Mercedes driver’s penalty.
In response to the stewards’ judgement, Mercedes issued a strongly-worded statement in which they accused Red Bull’s “senior management” of a “concerted attempt…to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after opening practice at the Hungarian GP, Wolff said: “I think the comments that were made, surely out of emotion, were going directly against a seven-time world champion.
“Words like ‘amateurish’ should have no place and what it triggered was an avalanche of comments in the social media, a lot of controversy and added to further polarisation.
“I think we, as a sport, should do the contrary – we should de-escalate.”
Mercedes’ statement referenced the documents Red Bull submitted to the stewards in their right of review.
“The remarks that were made during and after the Silverstone grand prix were just elaborated further in the document,” added Wolff in the later team boss’ press conference.
“Not looking at the incident only but giving it a wider paste that was beyond other things. Just a step too far.”
Horner responds to Mercedes claims
Speaking slightly earlier in the first part of the Friday conference, Horner gave his response to Mercedes’ statement.
“The statement by Mercedes is a little antagonistic, shall we say. But I don’t really read too much into it,” said the Red Bull team principal.
“It has never been anything personal about a single driver. It’s about the events that happened and a competition between two guys, it’s not individual to any driver.
“If that had been any other driver the reaction would have been identical. So I was a little surprised at Mercedes’ comments but we have put that behind us and our focus is very much on track and obviously trying to build on the momentum that we’d taken after the sprint race in Silverstone.”
Red Bull joined Mercedes in strongly condemning the racist online abuse Hamilton suffered in the wake of the British GP.