MERCEDES boss Toto Wolff has hit out at Romain
Grosjean’s “moaning” about being blocked by Lewis Hamilton,
saying his trouble Formula 1 past makes him ill-placed to
comment on others.
Grosjean remains furious that Hamilton escaped sanction for
impeding him during Q3 at the British Grand Prix, and went as
far as suggesting that the FIA only let the pole sitter off
because he was fighting for the world championship.
Unimpressed by those comments, Wolff said Grosjean should be
thankful to have an F1 career at all given his history — which
includes a race ban for causing a startling crash at the 2012
“There are some that moan all the time,” said Wolff when asked
to respond to Grosjean’s remarks.
“They just continue moaning. I don’t want to even comment.
“If Romain Grosjean comes out and starts asking for penalties
for other drivers, you should rather look at his track record.
“He should be happy he is driving in F1.”
Haas team principal Gunther Steiner backed his driver, and
argued that if Grosjean had blocked Hamilton in a similar
manner he would almost certainly have been penalised.
“If you step back and ask yourself, what would they have done
if Romain had done that to Hamilton? That I think should answer
that,” said Steiner.
“Something needs to be done. If he says ‘that [penalising
Hamilton] wouldn’t have made your position better’ — I know.
“But if we would have impeded Hamilton, if we get penalised, it
means a lot to us because we go back on the grid and we lose
“We both have something to lose, so don’t do it.
“He’s a world champion, he’s better than that. Why does he need
“And as soon as someone is in his way, it’s a disaster.
“We need to get a little bit more equal because there’s always
a discussion, how do we bring the field closer together?
“If we create two classes, we will never [get closer].
“We have the class that decides for itself what to do, then we
have the other ones.
“We need to get it together, and there seems to be never any
consistency with the penalties. It’s always who is who.”
TITLE FIGHT SAVED HAMILTON
Romain Grosjean believes British Grand Prix stewards held back
from penalising Lewis Hamilton for qualifying blocking because
he is in a Formula 1 championship fight.
Hamilton was investigated by the officials after claiming
Silverstone pole position as Haas driver Grosjean claimed he
had been held up by the Mercedes early in Q3.
Although the stewards acknowledged that Grosjean “may
potentially have been affected by the presence” of Hamilton,
they concluded “he was not impeded” and allowed the qualifying
result to stand.
“Surprised by the wording: ‘the driver behind has not been
impeded’,” said Grosjean.
“If losing 0.35-0.4 seconds in one corner is not being impeded,
I am very surprised.
“I think it opens room for messy qualifying and the rules are
“And I know there is a world title going on at the front but we
are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys
at the front and I was impeded today.
“How can I put it? Maybe if it was another driver there would
have been something.
“It does feel sometimes that there are two types of decision.”
Asked if he was suggesting Hamilton received preferential
treatment due to his status, Grosjean replied: “I think the
title race is an important one.
“But again we are fighting as hard as those boys.
“We have got a lot of people working and yes I lost 0.35s in
“So if next time I have to get with my front wing into his rear
diffuser to show that I have been impeded …
“We have got very clear rules in qualifying and with 10 cars in
Q3, we should not have those problems.”
He added that he had not been spoken to by the stewards and
reiterated that he felt he was being treated inconsistently.
“I got a five-place grid penalty in China for being too quick
under double yellow and today I lost position and nothing is
happening,” Grosjean said.
“It is frustrating that there seems to be big inconsistency
between the decision and who is doing the manoeuvre.”
Grosjean reckoned he would have beaten Stoffel Vandoorne to
ninth place in Q3 without the Hamilton incident, which would
have made him eighth on the grid rather than 10th once Valtteri
Bottas’s grid penalty took effect.