F1 news: Toto Wolff sends ‘pitiful’ message to rivals as porpoising row continues after feisty exchange

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F1 news: Toto Wolff sends ‘pitiful’ message to rivals as porpoising row continues after feisty exchange
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Toto Wolff has accused his rivals of a “pitiful” approach and playing political games in the ongoing row over fixing the porpoising issue.

The FIA put out a technical directive at the start of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend in response to health and safety fears for drivers.

It initially permitted teams, of which Mercedes were the only ones to implement it, to add a second stay to the floor of their cars which was removed by qualifying amid threats of a protest over its legality by rival teams.

Wolff was embroiled in a feisty exchange with his fellow team principals in a meeting prior to qualifying in which Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ended up fourth and 10th respectively for Sunday’s race.

Speaking after qualifying, the Mercedes team principal said: “This is a sport where you are trying to keep a competitive advantage or gain it but this situation has clearly gone too far. At least one driver in every team has said they were in pain after Baku and having difficulty keeping the car on track or blurred vision.

“And team principals trying to manipulate what is being said to keep a competitive advantage and try to play political games when the FIA tries to come up with a solution to put cars in a better position is disingenuous.

“All of the cars suffered in some ways or another in Baku. It’s an issue that needs to be solved. This is safety risk. Coming up with manipulation in the background or Chinese whispers or briefing the drivers is just pitiful.”

Wolff rejected the suggestion that porpoising was solely a Mercedes, reading out a quote from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in which he complained of losing his vision in braking and also listed other complaints post-Baku in Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocan and Kevin Magnussen.

While porpoising has not been as extreme in Montreal as Baku, it has still clearly been an issue.

“This is not a team’s problem,” he added. “It is a design issue of ground effect cars which needs to be tackled before we have a situation.”

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