Ex-Formula 1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle was left unimpressed with comments made by Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, in relation to Lewis Hamilton’s retirement at the Circuit of the Americas.
Hamilton was disqualified from the United States Grand Prix due to excessive wear to his plank, with it having not complied with the technical regulations.
As a result, the seven-time World Champion lost his P2 finish, which was almost a race win had his pit-stops been quicker.
The 38-year-old was sensational at the US GP and arguably would’ve won prior to his DSQ had his strategy and pit-stops been better.
Controversially, Wolff admitted that he “would take the disqualification” every time over finishing on the podium but “25 seconds adrift”, as Hamilton was contesting for the win.
“The problem with the Sprint races is your car goes into parc ferme and you can’t adjust it anymore,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1 ahead of the Mexican GP.
“Going into Saturday we thought, ‘hmm, that could be on the limit but probably with a little bit of a margin’.
“I would take the disqualification running for a race win and seeing the performance, rather than ending P3 and 25 seconds adrift. Every day of the week I would take the disqualification.”
Wolff’s comment didn’t sit well with Brundle, who criticised the Mercedes boss for being “flippant”.
The ex-F1 driver felt that Wolff’s attitude wasn’t respectful, whilst he noted that the Austrian and Hamilton had done a “good job” at trying to diffuse the severity of the DSQ.
“Absolutely not. I think Toto is being a flippant there,” Brundle insisted on Sky Sports F1. “Toto and Lewis have done a very good job this weekend of saying nothing to see here, look at all those others they must have been cheating as well or whatever.
“Cheating is too strong a word… found to be outside of the regulations. But, you know, some teams lifted their cars to be certain because it was a Sprint weekend because it was bumpy, drivers taking kerbs, talk of a headwind pushing the cars down a little bit more even on the back straight.”
Thankfully for Hamilton and Mercedes, he recovered superbly from his DSQ at the US GP by finishing second at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on Sunday.
Hamilton started the race in sixth but worked his way through the field superbly, whilst he also claimed the fastest lap.
He now sits just 20 points behind Sergio Perez in the fight for second in the Drivers’ Championship, after the Mexican retired at the end of the opening lap.