Wolff outraged by conspiracy outrage…who’s outraged by that?

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Perhaps it’s inevitable, or maybe not, but Formula 1 is faced with a new championship leader in Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and that isn’t the same as last year’s driver Lewis Hamilton. Lewis has struggled with reliability issues and penalties this season and this has led to conspiracy theories that the team are purposefully thwarting Lewis’s season in favor of Nico.

It’s a load of rubbish and one that doesn’t hold much water with team boss Toto Wolff:

“I want to ignore this bunch of lunatics who think we would want to harm a driver who is our driver and who has been a double world champion for us,” he said.

“He hasn’t let us down and we wouldn’t let him down.

“This is a mechanical sport and these things happen.

“We are pushing the limits on the chassis and on the engine side a lot in order to have a competitive car.

“This is why we are winning races but also if you push the limits at a certain stage you find them.

“I think it’s very difficult to take people seriously out there who are lying in their bed with a laptop on their chest and just sending out abusive messages.”

For the record, I don’t lay in bed with a laptop on my chest (and don’t know anyone that does…it sounds dangerous). Then again, I’m also not spreading rumors of conspiracy because, like Toto, I think they’re nonsense. Even though Lewis isn’t helping matters by saying:

“From my side of the garage the mechanics are having a hard time,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “But I have absolutely every bit of confidence and faith in them.

“The majority were on Nico’s car last year and Nico’s guys were with me for the last three years since i joined. The team all of a sudden swapped for no apparent reason.

“But that’s not the reason we’re having these issues, they’re somewhere else. I don’t know where the issues are coming from but for sure the team and guys in the background, they need to work hard to try and rectify these.

“We were doing 800 kilometers a day in testing and the car was almost seen as bullet-proof. Then, all of sudden we’re having all these problems. But don’t jump the gun, that [prioritising Rosberg] hasn’t happened in the last three years and I don’t believe there’s any reason for that to happen now.”

Lewis said a couple of weeks ago that he owes nothing to Formula 1 due to the fact that he does more than any other driver in history to promote the sport via his social media and outreach. That’s true, he does use the medium extensively and to be fair, other drivers aren’t quite as prolific as Lewis is although you could argue that Fernando Alonso does a heck of lot too.

Perhaps Lewis feels he has a huge following and he can either use that super power for good or evil but I think he does a disservice when he dog-whistles things that he knows #TeamLH will pick up on and fuel the mobocracy on social media.

It’s all part of F1 though and the tongue wagging is just part of its allure if I’m honest. With social media F1, like many other sports, has simply become a solid fuel for the outrage mobocracy wave on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I haven’t seen much discussion of the Russian Grand Prix but everyone is outraged and calling for the sacking, sitting or hanging of Daniil Kvyat and everyone is completely outraged by his actions. Really?

Niki Lauda called such allegations…”Bulls**t”

They are outraged by Kvyat and outraged by Lewis not winning and outraged by the outrage over the HALO and Aeroscreen. Hell I’m getting outraged by the outrage on Twitter over F1.

Lewis isn’t winning because of actions beyond his control and some actions in his control. That happens in F1 and it happened the last two years for Nico Rosberg and it happens to Carlos Sainz, Jolyon Palmer, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber, and even Esteban Gutierrez. Point is, it happens and usually doesn’t take some secret conspiracy that could never be contained with a team of 1,000 people. There is no possible way you could keep a nefarious plan confined to a 1,000 people and it wouldn’t be revealed. Someone is bound to get mad and spill the beans.

A team the size of Mercedes isn’t a likely candidate for this nefarious plan either as a public company that would be lambasted publicly should something like that leak and I doubt Toto or Paddy Lowe would put their careers and integrity on the line like that. We need to get real here folks.

Sebastian Vettel was outraged over the radio about his incident but in the press circle, he managed to get ahold of his emotions and say simply that it sucked and he hated that he wasn’t racing. I think we can all leave some of that emotion at the door…although I’m outraged by the conspiracy to keep McLaren from winning and the plan to thwart Ericsson’s race by giving Nasr a new chassis and the nefarious plan to put a whoopee cushion under Vladimir Putin’s seat at the race. That’s outrageous!

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT and Sky Sports F1

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Catherine M Johnson

Too funny! This post is an outrage lol.

Negative Camber

I reckon I’ll make a few folks outraged.

McSerb

Yeah, right, and it was a conspiracy theory that Mercedes would NOT give their customer teams the same engine performance ? NOTE : they give them the same engine but it does not perform quite as well does it ? Software, mapping tweaks, source codes… IF their customers were more competitive Mercedes would withhold more information and you would have more denying to do. If they want to cheat they definitely can cheat in many ways. I am not claiming they are doing it but they certainly can. They know the titles are safely in their possession and they just… Read more »

Negative Camber

That’s not s conspiracy though is it? It’s most likely contractually signed off on and the customers know they will get X amount of updates per season but by no means will they always have whatever Merc is doing with their software.

Esteban Muller

Vettel didnt leave his emotions at the door in china, did he?

Negative Camber

He did, the conversation we heard was in the waiting room for podium ceremony. He didn’t get in the press area and rage. what he said publicly was not outrage.

Paul KieferJr

I’m outraged that nobody’s using their brains to figure this out. C’mon, people, think! Use your head for other than a hat rack! There ain’t no magic bullet that killed Kennedy, a man did land on the moon, and there’s no conspiracy to do Hamilton in! Quit being damn sheep!

228929292AABBB

The magic bullet was the theory there was NO conspiracy. Regardless I don’t believe a large public company wouldn’t risk the embarrassment of an exposed scheme (I drive a VW diesel) but if Mercedes were sabotaging Lewis they’d be doing it more discreetly than to just have his car constantly stop working. Think of the subtle ways they could take a few percent out of his performance with no one ever seeing it. I think there is, as so often, a less dramatic but more likely scenario that bridges the possibilities everyone’s shouting about. Lewis has two championships by Merc,… Read more »

jiji the cat

Yeah… Merc sabotage (spelling?) there own cars. Apparently Bernie and little toto have done a deal to “spice up the show”.

jiji the cat

Bernie says “deal was done at cota, cost me a fortune “

geeyore

There was a racing incident in L1 T3, and the former champ isn’t …. yet (and no, I don’t mean Seb). It’s…. it’s….. it’s…. unbelievable!

What is this, Formula 1 ?!?!?!

Negative Camber

I’ve had several people tell me I am wrong and what I would say to that is, then prove it. Where is the overwhelming evidence, not speculation and conjecture, but real evidence this is happening? Does someone have an internal memo circulated or a radio conversation or tapped phone conversation where they are purposefully thwarting his efforts? I see no evidence anywhere and lots of people saying it’s obvious.

Sod' Law

The conspiracy is complacency. Two championships in a row and you let off just a wee bit, thinking the next year will be more of the same. I’ve seen it across the board in racing and in my former and current business. It’s the same in all sports. Nobody stays on top forever. Mental and physical fitness changes. Even the slightest bit of overconfidence or complacency can wreak havoc on a once tight ship. The true test is to see if and how they recover. Hobbs seems to think the championship is already a done deal. I’m not so sure.

Meine Postma

Hamilton’s and Rosberg’s teams were swapped around? Is that normal in F1? Hamilton seems to think not.

#outraged

Andreas Möller

Toto Wolff talked about that in the Sky interview. The Mercedes ethos is apparently to have one team with two drivers, rather than a Hamilton team and a Rosberg team. That’s why they have a single strategy chief for both cars, for instance. To avoid a situation where the mechanics start taking sides between the drivers, they rotate them around. Toto also mentioned that sometimes people are rotated because they want to advance to a different position.

Profpalm

I wonder what the bigger game is at play here? Mercedes has little reason to be outraged in that they brought this on themselves. I had tweeted Steve Matchett and he confirmed that in his experience, the switching of garage sides is not the norm, and that doing so would be risky for Merc. I wonder if we are seeing that risk backfire on them? Or is/was there a plan to suspend intra-team battles and create more ‘unity’ with something as unorthodox as switching mechanic sides, only to see natural mechanical failures thwart this effort? Maybe Ross is on the… Read more »