Toto Wolff repeats criticism of Max Verstappen after ‘tactical foul’ on Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff has repeated his accusation that Max Verstappen deliberately took out Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

The title rivals were each unable to complete the race at Monza after Verstappen’s Red Bull collided with Hamilton in the Mercedes.

In the immediate aftermath, Wolff suggested that Verstappen had committed a “tactical foul” to remove Hamilton from contention.

Verstappen leads the British driver by five points in the Drivers’ Championship with eight Grands Prix left in 2021.

Wolff reaffirmed his belief that Verstappen could have avoided the crash.

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The Mercedes team principal and chief executive said: “These two boys are some of the very best and the real question is how many actions to prevent an opponent from winning do we want to see in the future?

“The collision was avoided in one case and not in the other. There are stewards, they have spoken.

“You have to set a precedent so that everyone is well aware that the other is not preventing the other from scoring by simply ending their race.

“They can fight hard, but still leave room to avoid an accident”

Verstappen has been given a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix, which will be held in Sochi next weekend.

He is seeking to end Hamilton’s run of four consecutive Formula One world titles as the young Dutchman goes in search of his maiden Drivers’ Championship and Red Bull’s first since 2013.

Wolff has challenged the two drivers to find a way to race safely for the remainder of the season and prevent further crashes.

“We have seen similar incidents in the past between two drivers fighting for the championship,” Wolff said.

“We have to find a modus operandi that will keep the confrontations under control, but that can only come from them.

“Lewis and Max must find the right way to face each other. Until they find it, there will be trouble.”

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