Until the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan, had been very few situations in which Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had had a public confrontation. Both pilots have been the two great protagonists of the domains of the current decade, taking away all the world between 2010 and 2015, but they have not been faced directly by one.
In 2010, they were part of a biggest fight with a few individualities, and in 2012, Hamilton was half way through mechanical problems. From 2014, Vettel had been limited to a fight to be the best of the rest… until this year, in which the equality between Mercedes and Ferrari has led to a duel between the two stars. Given that the finns seem more comfortable in his role of chaperone, and that Red Bull does not have the weapons to win in normal conditions, both pilots starring a long-awaited fight that, until now, had elapsed in terms that are respectful and based on the competitiveness.
All this, of course, to Baku, where the “not braking” of Hamilton and the subsequent touch of Vettel, the penalty to the German, the statements of both drivers after the race and the investigation of the FIA to evaluate an extension of the measures to the pilot of Ferrari has heated up the environment in a meaningful way. In it, Mercedes has made clear that its driver is the victim of the situation, having received the blow and lost two points with Vettel in that race.
So you see the head of Mercedes AMG F1; Toto Wolff, who is confident that the FIA take into account the example given to determine a penalty greater than Vettel, according to RACER: “first of all, Lewis did nothing wrong, what we have seen in the data. We just have to be aware that there are millions of people watching, and many of them are young riders with aspirations. What we do on the track is going to be an example, and who takes the penalties sets a precedent. We can judge that too. I hope that Charlie (Whiting) and others have considered”. Despite this, Wolff would not pursue actively that major penalty: “anyway, I don’t want to attack a posteriori: it imposed a penalty, the commissioners have decided, and my mind is already in Spielberg”.
What we do on the track is going to be an example, and sets a precedent. I hope that Charlie has considered
In Mercedes, are experts with knowledge of the stresses that can trigger the achievement of a drivers ‘ championship. They themselves lived it first hand in their own box, with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in 2014 and 2016, and Wolff understood that the dynamics cordial cannot progress as the year progresses: “we Accept that we have eight races and respect each other, and now we have this situation in which there is more controversy. I think that the respect between the two greats of their sport, fundamentally, it is there, and these events do not help the relationship in the future. It was clear that this could happen the more tight I was. No one wants to see the talk, anyway, so I now go without hesitation”.
Wolff, in spite of everything, believes that in Formula 1 should reign a greater camaraderie between teams once the motors are turned off, making it clear that there is no type of animosity towards Ferrari: “of course, in retrospect, is a company fantastic and a great brand. There are a lot of passionate people at Ferrari, and that encourage Ferrari in Italy. For me, the analogy is rugby: during the race, they are our enemies and we have no hesitation, but we should be able to, once the race has finished, take a beer as the rugby players, and to recognize the performance of someone and that we are all warriors and tough competitors on the track. We compete in a joint platform, and that unites us in some way”.