Mercedes Toto Wolff: “Our understanding is this kind of message is allowed”


Großer Preis von China 2016 . Credit: Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Team Boss Toto Wolff hailed the British Grand Prix as Formula 1 at its best, after driver Lewis Hamilton stormed to a dominant victory, his third in succession at the Silverstone track, this weekend.

Despite the demotion of driver Nico Rosberg, from second place to third, following a time penalty for breaking radio ban rules, the Austrian was overjoyed to have taken victory on home soil, in front of colleagues and fans.

“This afternoon was Formula One at its best: probably the best fans in the world, a wet-dry race, loads of incidents and overtaking, and a fantastic home winner at the end of it all.

“On days like this, Lewis is unstoppable: he pulled the gap in the early laps, we made the perfect call on the strategy, and then he controlled the race from there. He was calm all day, had everything under control and just nailed the race. Brilliant.

“For Nico, it was a bit trickier: running in the spray in the wet always costs lap time, then he had a long battle with Max. He lost out on the intermediates, but then was able to hunt him down after switching to the dry tyres and pulled off a great outside move into Stowe, one of the fastest points on the circuit.

Wolff believes that the team did not break any rules in informing Rosberg of how to proceed with his gearbox problem, as they deemed the situation to be critical, which under the sporting regulations is an exception to the rule. However the Stewards saw things differently and Mercedes have now lodged an appeal against the decision to hand Rosberg a time penalty.

“In the final laps, he was stuck in seventh gear, which was clearly a critical problem that would have resulted in failure. Our understanding of the rules is that this kind of message is allowed – it’s not the kind of driver coaching the rules were designed to prevent – so we gave him the necessary information and he did a great job to hold his position and bring the car home.

It was a fantastic weekend for the Brackley based team overall, who will now look to continue with their strong performance in Hungary, in two weeks time.