“Action on the track and also off the track” – Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is delighted with the verbal duel between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, as it adds to the entertainment value.
Unlike last season, Red Bull and Mercedes are competing neck-to-neck, with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton leading the charge. And, unlike last season, the charge can be witnessed off the race track too, with the two drivers currently engaged in an “entertaining” war of words.
Verstappen has suggested Hamilton has had no real opponent except his teammates at Mercedes, which holds true for only Nico Rosberg, really, and not for the fairly compliant Valtteri Bottas. Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is enjoying this verbal duel, calling it good for the sport.
“It is great. We have a fight between outstanding drivers, the championship has swung both directions and things are being said which are good for entertainment.
“I would attribute that sentence to the entertainment factor and great to talk about it and write about it. This is action on the track and also off the track.”
— WTF1 (@wtf1official) May 25, 2021
Hamilton’s unsuccessful undercut vs Pierre Gasly at Monaco
With Hamilton starting the Monaco GP on Row 4, Mercedes decided to undercut the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly. This backfired though, as eventually, Sebastian Vettel managed to do the same on Lewis, and finish an impressive P5 in his Aston Martin.
Wolff has defended their strategy, as the apparent tyre wear ruled out any overcut benefits. Gasly held his own and managed to finish ahead of Hamilton in P6.
“The undercut was the only chance we had. We saw the tyre that came off and there was nothing left, similar to Valtteri’s car.
“There was some communication with the strategists, are we undercutting? We felt the undercut had much bigger potential to jump Gasly and it wasn’t enough.”