F1 commentator Peter Windsor has raised an important concern, urging Toto Wolff to exhibit more tremendous respect towards Lewis Hamilton. This call for reference arises after an incident during the Austrian Grand Prix, where the Mercedes team boss’s intervention via team radio left a sour taste.
Despite enjoying a surge in performance lately with the extensively modified W14, Hamilton found himself grappling with the car once again during a gruelling weekend at the Red Bull Ring. The seven-time World Champion’s struggles became evident as he suffered a disappointing 18th-place classification in the sprint shootout session on Saturday.
To compound his difficulties, Hamilton encountered persistent challenges throughout the grand prix, ultimately becoming the first among multiple drivers to incur penalties for exceeding track limits on several occasions.
Peter Windsor, was deeply disconcerted by Toto Wolff’s manner of communication with Lewis Hamilton during the race.
Windsor went on to express his concern about Wolff’s admission regarding the subpar performance of the car, which served as a stark indictment of the team’s stagnant progress since the eagerly awaited upgrade package was introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix in late May.
In a compelling address through his YouTube channel, Peter Windsor conveyed his thoughts and insights. He said: “There was a comment from Toto Wolff two-thirds of the way through the race which, for me, left a little bit of a bad taste in the mouth because it was Lewis again going on about track limits.
“It was a bit like that comment to Charles Leclerc in Canada – a bit schoolmaster talking to the pupil – and he said: ‘Yes, Lewis, we know the car is bad. Get on and drive the race, please.’
“I just thought, ‘Wow’, [firstly] for all the song and dance about the [upgrades] and how improvements are there and they’re moving forward and the setup and getting the tyres in the right window.
“And [secondly], to speak to Lewis like that – ‘get on and race’ – this guy’s a seven-times World Champion, he does deserve a little bit more respect than that, I think.
“I just felt a little bit uneasy hearing that. It probably goes on all the time but I just wish we didn’t hear all the radio all the time if it’s going to be like that.
“I’m surprised. If anything’s going to be driving Lewis crazy it’s going to be stuff like that because, if nothing else, he wants to enjoy his racing now.
“There’s not much else to do because he ain’t going to be winning, the car’s not very good, he’s got the British Grand Prix coming up – his race, if you like – so at least just enjoy it even if he’s midfield.
“But if you’re going to be spoken to like that by your team principal it’s not really fun either, is it? I wouldn’t have thought it was anyway.
“Maybe Lewis can shrug it off. He seems to be able to shrug everything else off [that’s happened] over the last two years very impressively, so good luck to him if he can do that.”