Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff rubbished Christian Horner’s claim that the German outfit is favouring Lewis Hamilton’s quest for a seventh world title this season.
After seven rounds, the 2020 F1 world championship already looks like it’s Hamilton’s to lose, the Briton winning five races so far and holding a comfortable 47-point lead over Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings while teammate Valtteri Bottas is already 50 points adrift.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner says that based on an analysis of Mercedes’ race strategy at Spa last weekend, the Brackley squad is clearly favouring Hamilton over Bottas.
Horner: ‘It’s obvious that Mercedes favour Hamilton’
But Wolff denied the claims of unfairness at Mercedes, and personally told Horner as much.
“I spoke to him about that,” Wolff said. “He said: ‘Why didn’t you pit Valtteri for the second stop?’ And I said ‘if we would have known that the two-stop was quicker, we would have pitted Lewis as well’.
“In hindsight the two-stop was the better strategy. We didn’t want to lose position against Max because it was not clear whether we would beat Max on track.
“Then I said to him: ‘Why didn’t you pit Max for a second stop, you could have beaten us?’ He said: ‘Well, we weren’t sure whether we would be able to overtake Ricciardo’.
“Well hello, here we go, it’s exactly the same situation!”
Historically, Mercedes has always put both its drivers on an equal footing, and that stance hasn’t changed this season contends Wolff.
“There is no such thing as prioritising one driver versus the other,” added the Austrian.
“We have always played it completely open, transparent and fair and this is how we are going to continue.”
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