Mercedes boss involves police to investigate Hamilton ‘sabotage’ claims

Toto Wolff involves police to investigate claims about Lewis Hamilton 'sabotage'

According to Toto Wolff, Mercedes has contacted police to investigate the source of an email that claims to prove that Lewis Hamilton is being sabotaged.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has stated that police are looking into a malicious email that was sent to Formula 1 teams and motorsport media claiming that Mercedes has sabotaged Lewis Hamilton’s performance after it was confirmed he will switch to Ferrari for 2025 F1.

According to Wolff, the controversial email was sent on June 10th to a mailing list of F1 insiders and media, imitating a plot that had been used earlier in the year to disseminate rumours about Christian Horner.

The email, which included the provocative title “a potential death warrant for Lewis,” was purported to be written anonymously by a Mercedes staff member and described alleged attempts to discredit Hamilton in favor of teammate George Russell.

This comes after Hamilton missed out on a podium in Canada during the closing laps as his team-mate George Russell overtook him on the quicker medium tyres, while the 39-year old was left powerless to defend on the hard compound rubber.

The anonymous email claimed that Mercedes is giving Russell more priority because Hamilton is slated to join Ferrari for 2025 F1, with a similar set of accusations also being issued to a number of media representatives via SMS.

Speaking in Friday’s team principals’ press conference at the Barcelona circuit, Wolff underlined how seriously the team is handling the situation while strongly denying the email originated from the Mercedes camp.

“We know this is not coming from an employee of our team and we receive an incredible number of these types of emails,” said Wolff, in a strong response when questioned .

“That is disturbing, especially when someone talks about death and things like that in such an email. That is why I said that we must investigate this fully and call the police.

“We’re researching the IP address, we are researching the phone, all of that, because online abuse in that way needs to stop.

“People can’t hide behind their phones or their computers and abuse teams or drivers in a way like this.”

In response to the absurd claim that Mercedes is deliberately favoring Russell over Hamilton, Wolff said that anyone who believed such a claim is credible needs to see a “shrink.” He also blasted online abusers for their cowardice and the anonymity of their claims.

“I don’t know what some of the conspiracy theorists and lunatics think out there,” he said. “Lewis was part of the team for 12 years. We have a friendship, we trust each other. We want to end this on a high, we want to celebrate the relationship.

“And if you don’t believe all of that, you can believe that we want to win the constructors’ World Championship. And part of the constructors’ World Championship is making both cars win.

“So to all of these mad people out there, take a shrink. First of all, I’m not reading any comments. I don’t have social media.

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“And I think it’s important to protect oneself by doing so. I’ve commented about this many times before. There will always be people there with the laptop on the chest in the bedroom, just typing away.

“If people feel like they want to abuse and hit and hide behind them, behind a made-up Instagram account, or anything else that. For me, come up and say who you are, and we’ll take the criticism and discuss – but don’t hide.

“And there seems to be lots of irrationality also because we want to be successful. We want to be successful with the most iconic driver the sport has ever had.

“We had the privilege that we had to work with Lewis as an incredible driver, great personality that goes through the ups and downs like any other like any other sports person.”

The Mercedes team principal, who despite his disappointment about Hamilton’s 2025 transfer publicly bared no grudge and insists the pair have a “friendship”, enough is quite clearly enough.

“I totally respect the reasons for him going to Ferrari,” he said. “There is no grudge. There is no bad feeling.

“The interaction we have in the team is positive, and so every comment from the outside of what is going on in the team is just simply wrong.”

Wolff also made it very clear that there should be no tolerance for online abuse, indicating Mercedes’ decision to take legal action.

“There’s always a limit,” he said. “If emails are being sent or telephone numbers are being used for these messages, then, for me, the joking stops, and we will pursue it, whether that is successful or not.

“But there are limits to certain things. And obviously, online abuse is not only something that happens to us or to the team or to the people. It happens badly to Lewis, and to George.

“And we’ve seen Max speaking out about it and Kelly [Piquet]. People that abuse are cowards because they hide. So whatever is going on out there with social media, with all the good things that it provides, and all those people that have been given a platform.

“That’s just the negatives that come with it. I have no feelings to someone that abuses for the reasons I just said before.”

An FIA-led report, published in February in cohesion with other sporting federations such as FIFA and World Athletics, revealed results that stated that 75% of respondents believe athletes regularly face threats against themselves or their families online.

As for Hamilton, he did his talking on the track as he set the pace in the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday after calling for “support, not negativity” on Thursday. 

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