Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children (SHORT VERSION)
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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has accused Red Bull’s Christian Horner of being one of the “protagonists” in Formula One’s pantomime as the Austrian detailed an honest review of Red Bull’s tactics this season. Wolff and his Red Bull counterpart have often locked horns this season as their two drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have gone head-to-head for the Formula One World Championship.
Most recently Horner insisted that Wolff is under a “different type of pressure” due to Red Bull’s title tilt this season.
But Wolff has accused Horner of “behaving like an actor” and claimed comments like this are to “make headlines” especially in the wake of the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, which has catapulted Formula One back onto the main stage.
“What Christian says about me feeling pressure — no, not at all,’ Wolff told the Daily Mail.”I feel he is one of the protagonists in a pantomime, part of the Formula One cast, and for me as a stakeholder, as a team owner, it’s great that he creates these kinds of stories.
“But it’s irrelevant. People have a microphone in front of them or a camera on them and they start to behave like little actors, like Hollywood.
“It’s very good they fill the blanks and make it pantomime. That’s good for the sport and good for Netflix because they want to portray the people, not just the stopwatch.
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“People have realised they are being quoted if they say controversial things. It gives them media time, it gets their picture in the newspapers.
“In many ways, we are going back to our roots because what Bernie Ecclestone created back in the day was racing and soap.
“And when there was not enough racing he made soap, he was always good for a headline. So we’re back there.
“But I don’t get drawn into it. I find it amusing, but it doesn’t touch me.
“Look, I’ve had so many hard years in my life that this — fighting for a Formula 1 championship — is not on the scale.”
The relationship between the two teams boiled over at the British Grand Prix as Hamilton and Verstappen collided for the first time all season.
Hamilton was hit with a 10-second time penalty for his part in the crash, but Verstappen was taken to hospital after hitting the tyre wall with a 50G impact.
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Despite Hamilton not knowing his main title rival was having additional checks after the race, Verstappen was left fuming at the Briton for his ‘disrespectful’ behaviour.
Wolff has however insisted that Hamilton did nothing wrong as he dismissed Verstappen’s complaints.
“You’ve lost 25 points, which is disastrous for your campaign and then your driver is in hospital not feeling great with a 50G impact and then you see Mercedes celebrating exuberantly. So you think that’s not right,” Wolff said.
“Could we have done it better? Muted celebrations? No. People always see things in black and white. I’m right, you’re wrong. They don’t get it.”
The pair clashed again at the Italian Grand Prix, with Verstappen’s car ending up wedged on top of the Mercedes of Hamilton on lap 26.
Hamilton was left complaining of a headache afterwards and admitted after attending the Met Gala in New York that he would be visiting a specialist ahead of the next race.
“Then we go to Monza. So what’s worse? A 50G impact, or having a car on your head? Look, both walked away unharmed. That was the consequence, so fine, we move on.
“Lewis never played the dying swan,” Wolff continued. “Nor did we ever say he was heavily injured. And that can happen when a 750kg race car ends up on your head, even for a short while.
“He had a stiff neck or a stiff body. But that’s why they are well paid.
“One pantomime player at Red Bull felt he needed to comment and said Lewis was well enough to go to the Met Gala. But we didn’t say he was gravely injured.
“It was just another headline created.”
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 12 points in the standings ahead of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, with just five races remaining in the season.
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