“Michael, I just sent you an email with the graphs where the cars are supposed to be from, did you get it?“, He thundered over the radio Toto Wolff, number one Mercedes, to Masi, F1 Race Director. The Australian replied that during the race he certainly did not have time to check his mailbox and the Austrian manager had pressed him with a sharp: “Well, then you should look at it“, Sure of the decisive proof attached to the men of the Federation. The theme obviously is the accident that occurred to Max Verstappen during the initial lap of Silverstone, so Lewis Hamilton was found guilty, enough to receive 10 seconds of penalty and the subtraction of two points on the license.
Wolff was certain he had decisive evidence in hand to prove the concurrence of blame, but that did not happen and the FIA penalized Hamilton for causing the collision by not avoiding contact. For days, insiders and fans have been wondering the real content of this email sent by Mercedes to the Federation, revealed thanks to the German journalist Christian Nimmervoll, who was able to view the correspondence and reproduced it on the homonymous page Facebook call “Formel 1 Inside mit Christian Nimmervoll“.
The diagram starts with the question: “Where can I overtake?“And unfolds in two possibilities:”Inside of” And “on the outside“. In the first there is a further question: “Is there a significant overlap?“And then there are two ways:”The curve is yours, as long as you handle it cleanly” And “Take your foot off the gas or it will be your responsibility in the event of a collision“. In the dedicated part “on the outside“One wonders: “We are close?“And here too an unraveling:”You are entitled to the curve. The other driver has to lead you” or “Get your foot off the gas or it will be your responsibility. The other driver is entitled to the full width of the track“.
To explain it in simpler terms: Wolff argued that a driver trying to overtake inside it does not have to be perfectly placed side by side to the rival. The objective was therefore to show a concurrence of guilt, which could have exonerated Hamilton in the proceedings of the Commissioners.
But how did the graph in question get into Wolff’s hands, given that the Federation claimed it was not “an official document”? This is not a Mercedes invention – of course – but a correspondence that took place in recent years, at the time of the bitter rivalry between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton himself and more precisely in 2015, among the men of the Silver Arrows and the then Clerk of the Course, the late Charlie Whiting. The team wanted to define the rules of engagement among their drivers, and had asked the FIA for clarification on overtaking maneuvers, receiving just this diagram as an answer. The misunderstanding was then generated by the fact that this document shot at Mercedes was considered official by the team, but the Federation did not know of its existence until the Silverstone race. Nimmervoll does not rule out the chart not having been used in the past by Whiting to judge race incidents, but it is certainly no longer in use by Commissioners. Certainly in recent days there has been a lot of talk about the contents of this email, so much so as to push fans to create rather hilarious memes.
Here is the famous email from Toto Wolff to Michael Masi pic.twitter.com/jNIhOANP4S
– Chiara # IAMF1 💚 (@seblegendvettel) July 19, 2021
On a trouvé the mails de Toto Wolff de ce weekend pic.twitter.com/gQiFmvyamG
– Benjoy (@LeBenjoy) July 21, 2021