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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was seen screaming and smashing his headphones after Lewis Hamilton crashed at a dramatic Saudi Grand Prix

Insider
Insider
 2021-12-06
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Toto Wolff seen reacting angrily to an incident involving Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. @F1/Twitter
  • The pressure of F1's tightest title race in over a decade is starting to show.
  • Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was seen on camera smashing his headphones after a crash involving Lewis Hamilton.
  • Hamilton crashed into the back of rival Max Verstappen amid confusion over an earlier infringement.

The pressure and tension of the tightest F1 title battle in over a decade was clear to see on Sunday when Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was caught on camera screaming and smashing his headphones onto his desk.

Usually cool, calm, and collected, Wolff reacted angrily to an incident involving his driver Hamilton and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The Mercedes driver ran into the back of Verstappen when the latter slowed in the middle of the track to allow Hamilton to pass.

The British driver claimed Verstappen had slowed deliberately in a move called a "brake test."

—Formula 1 (@F1) December 6, 2021

The crash, which left Hamilton with damage to his front wing, caused an eruption from Wolff.

Earlier in the year, Wolff told Insider he does not feel pressure when it comes to the F1 title race, but that seems to have changed, with angry outbursts from the Mercedes boss caught on camera twice in recent weeks.

On Sunday, TV cameras caught Wolff's reaction to the crash between Hamilton and Verstappen. He stood up quickly from his chair, then visibly shouted "no" twice, before screaming, "fuck!"

As he shouted "fuck" once more, Wolff threw his headphones at the desk in a fit of rage. The headphones seemingly survived, with Wolff pictured wearing them again later in the race.

Hamilton ultimately won the race, and in doing so drew level with Verstappen in the F1 title battle.

Once his internal temperature had cooled down, a more measured Wolff said that if tensions between the two drivers continue, the season's final race in Abu Dhabi could be decided by a penalty.

This, Wolff said, would be a "messy situation for everybody."

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Toto Wolff said earlier in the year that he does not feel pressure. Mark Thompson/Getty Images

"You know I said that, [in] Brazil, that we're setting a precedent, if it's not being investigated, that could end up really ugly for the championship," as reported by Autosport.

"You've seen incidents that were pretty much Brazil at slower speeds. And we don't want to have that in Abu Dhabi. The quicker car with the quicker driver should win the championship and not by taking each other off.

"I think that similar driving, if it were to be deemed by the stewards as over the line, would then probably also be penalized in Abu Dhabi, and that could well end in a messy situation for everybody."

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