Red Bull’s request to reopen the investigation into Max Verstappen’s crash at the British Grand Prix was denied on Thursday. The prudent course of action, when Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was inevitably asked about that on Friday, would have probably been to explain that he was no longer talking about it. Except that’s not the route Wolff took.
“I think the remarks that were made during and after the Silverstone Grand Prix were just elaborated further in the document and not always looking at the incident only, but giving it a wider taste and that was, beyond other things, just a step too far.”
He added to Sky Sports F1: “Words like ‘amateurish’ should have no place, and what it triggered was an avalanche of comments in social media, a lot of controversy and added to further polarisation and I think we as a sport, we should do the contrary. We should de-escalate…”
This sounds promising — the situation sure could use some de-escalation, and it would be a shame if anyone escalated it again, perhaps by calling the other side cowards. Wolff would never do that, definitely not the same day he also called for de-escalation, surely...
“I think everybody needs to decide whether they want to apologise or not,” he said. “We felt that comments that were made during and after race and in written statements and in the meeting itself were below the belt. But it’s not up to me, nor would Lewis want to demand any apologies,” concluded Wolff.
Now, we live in a world of trolls, and I don’t think Toto is one of them, but Toto is also a grown-man who speaks English well who knows exactly what he is saying. Meanwhile, given his own opportunity to address the incident (again) Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said Friday:
“The stewards felt that it wasn’t new evidence under the confines of the regulations and so it wasn’t opened into another hearing, so we accept that. This competition is all about marginal gains and leaving no stone unturned. And of course, when you have an accident of that velocity and impact, then of course, you’re going to make a full investigation.
“But as far as we’re concerned the chapter is now closed, the stewards have made their ruling and we now very much focus on this weekend and the remaining part of the championship.”
To which I say: Amen.