Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has defended Sir Lewis Hamilton, after the British driver was called an “idiot” after colliding with Fernando Alonso at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The seven-time World Champion made an excellent start to the race and quickly found himself in third and right behind Fernando Alonso for second.
The British driver was right on the gearbox of Alonso into Les Combes, where he opted to swoop around the outside of the double World Champion.
However, Hamilton went on to cut across his former team-mate, resulting in a big impact between the two.
The contact between the pair saw the rear of Hamilton’s W13 launch into the air, with his car performing almost a vertical nosedive.
The impact when his car made contact again with the circuit was incredibly heavy, with Hamilton believing his back could’ve been broken in the incident.
He was told to retire not long after with damage suspected to the floor and possibly even the power unit.
Alonso somehow came out of the collision without damage but did have some very strong words to say about Hamilton on the radio after the incident happened.
“What an idiot closing the door from the outside,” Alonso vented.
“I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.”
Alonso still went onto finish fifth, and post-race explained that he felt it was a racing incident, after Hamilton revealed that the Alpine was in his blind spot.
Hamilton did accept full responsibility for the collision but refused to be told what Alonso had said about him.
Wolff, on the other hand, was told what the 41-year-old had said, and instantly defended his driver, who’s won 42 Grand Prix’s from second on the grid or below.
That number alone is more than Alonso’s total victories, no matter where he started!
“Well, Lewis has started in the front a lot,” the 50-year-old said.
“He’s won seven World Championships so the strategy worked!”
It was Wolff’s only joke of what was a horrid weekend for the Silver Arrows, after not having a driver on the podium for the first time since the Monaco Grand Prix.
George Russell did manage to finish fourth, but nevertheless still a long way behind race winner Max Verstappen.
In all fairness, everybody was an eternity behind the Dutchman, who was dominant all weekend at Spa.
Russell qualified a staggering 2.1 seconds behind the Dutch driver, whilst Hamilton only managed three-tenths better than his team-mate.
Mercedes are once again completely lost, with their “ambition” to win a race this year looking bleaker than ever.
The Silver Arrows have won at least a single race every season since 2012, a streak that is at serious risk of ending.
Wolff felt “like a fool” by the end of the weekend, with the team not knowing how to extract performance from the ‘diva’ that is the W13.
“It is not where we should be with the structure and the knowledge to understand a racing car, but we don’t with this one,” said Wolff on Saturday in Belgium.
“We still have the ambition to win races this year. If I would have told you that in Budapest, you would have said ‘Well, that’s pretty possible’, whereas today saying that I look like a fool.
“But there are some race tracks that will suit our car much more than now. Hopefully, we’ll get it right next Saturday [at the Dutch Grand Prix], so that is the ambition whilst at the same time giving it a big focus on next year.
“Finishing second or third [in the constructors’ championship] makes no difference to me, but in saying that we want the best race result every week to build confidence.”