Lewis Hamilton gives view on Toto Wolff’s passionate reaction to Max Verstappen overtake
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Lewis Hamilton says Toto Wolff’s reaction after overtaking Max Verstappen for the lead of the race in Brazil made him “laugh inside” after the Austrian was filmed angrily pointing straight down the barrel of the camera.
Hamilton had a rollercoaster of a weekend, leaving the Mercedes boss in a defiant mood on Sunday as the seven-time champion beat the odds to take a victory in Brazil.
Hamilton was first handed a five-place grid penalty for changing his engine, before setting the quickest time in qualifying on Friday, yet due to a technical infringement regarding his rear wing, was disqualified from the session.
Starting P20 for Saturday’s sprint race, the 36-year-old calved his way through 15 cars in 24 laps to finish P5.
However, he was relegated to P10 thanks to the engine change grid penalty and started in P10, and once again began picking off drivers to bring the fight to Verstappen at the front.
But disaster nearly struck when the pair nearly tangled heading towards Turn 4.
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The Dutchman defended his position into the corner, with Hamilton going around the outside to try and take the lead.
But Verstappen went wide, and Hamilton was forced to take evasive action and bumped across the run-off area.
Controversy has followed the incident since, but at the time the stewards didn’t investigate the incident.
But 10 laps later Hamilton finally got around the championship leaders in one of the most defiant wins of his career, with Wolff visibly animated in the garage.
When asked by Express Sport if he felt the pressure was getting to Wolff, Hamilton replied he’d not seen any changes in the Austrian.
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“I haven’t really noticed anything unusual I mean, we’re competitors, I love seeing Toto’s fighting spirit,” said Hamilton speaking in the press conference on Thursday ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix. “It makes me so happy.
“There’s a shot I saw from the last race, and it just made me laugh inside, it was so good.
“You know if Toto was, if he just cared less and was just chill… I mean, I don’t know, it just wouldn’t be…that fire and passion is a part of our infrastructure and our ecosystem and it trickles down from him.
“He is the leader of the team and you want that in your boss, someone that’s out there go-getting and pushing and chasing every millisecond and with you along the way.
“So no, I love these stands for what he thinks is right.
“We’ve grown hugely together and closer over these years. As we will continue to do.”
Wolff meanwhile stated: “It was just a friendly hello to the clerk of the course.”
Hamilton cut Verstappen’s lead to just 14 points thanks to his victory on Sunday in Brazil.
With 78 points still up for grabs and three races to go, the championship is set to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.
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