Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has claimed the Silver Arrows do not want to see Sergio Perez investigated for his crash in qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix. The incident has been at the centre of debate since last weekend when Max Verstappen ignored Red Bull team orders.
The Dutchman stated he had his reasons for not letting Perez pass at Sao Paulo with many pointing to the Mexcian’s shunt in Monaco which prevented Verstappen a shot at pole. Red Bull and Verstappen have refused to reveal the details of his comment or what the reasons were but there is speculation Perez crashed on purpose at the Principality.
The accident has never been investigated by the FIA despite costing drivers a chance to deny Charles Leclerc a pole on home soil. However, Wolff has shot down rumours that Perez would collide with the wall intentionally and denied the team would push for a report into the matter.
Wolff said: “We haven’t got the data. Monaco is pretty bad for GPS. And the second thing is I’ve known Sergio for a long time.
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“Would a driver really put his car in a wall and risk his gearbox in the way it was done? You could be going all the way to the back of the grid with such an incident. So for me, if you want to park your car, you do it in a different way.”
The rumours come just weeks after a string of incidents for Red Bull despite winning the world championship. The team were found guilty of breaking F1’s budget cap rules and hit with a 10 per cent reduction in wind tunnel testing and CFD development.
Verstappen also boycotted UK broadcaster Sky Sports F1 in Mexico after Ted Kravitz suggested Lewis Hamilton was “robbed” of the title last season. Two weeks later, the team are now involved in a team orders feud which could cost Perez in his bid to secure P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
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Wolff hinted at the team’s previous incidents as he took a subtle swipe at the foreigner title rivals. He added: “We had enough PR crisis in the last couple of weeks around that team and I think we don’t need another one.”
Perez has denied his spin was intentional and admitted the shunt did not get brought up in talks with the team after the Brazilian Grand Prix. However, FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem has not shied away from reopening the case.
He told Autosport: “I didn’t have anyone who said we want to investigate it from our side. But if there is something to be investigated, we are more than happy. One thing truly I would say, I’m not shy or afraid of conducting or going into it if there is an issue. I will not hide. I will be even raising my hand and saying [if] there is an issue with the FIA.”