Lewis Hamilton said seeing Toto Wolff’s reactions over the weekend in Brazil had made him “laugh inside”, and hopes to see more.
The team principal was also heard saying ‘F *** them all’ after the sprint qualifying as Hamilton moved up from the back of the field through the sprint and the grand prix to secure a crucial victory – and Wolff himself has said that “the diplomacy is over” between Mercedes and Red Bull as the title fight comes to a head in the weeks to come.
With that, the seven-time world champion has a feeling the mentality will “trickle down” to the rest of the squad in the last three races.
“I love to see Toto’s fighting spirit, it makes me so happy,” Hamilton told reporters in Qatar.
“There is a photo I saw of him from the last race and it made me laugh inside, it was so good.
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“If Toto didn’t care and was just cool, I don’t know… that fire and passion are part of our infrastructure and our ecosystem and it flows from him.
“He’s the leader of the team and you want that in your boss, someone who’s out there pushing and chasing every millisecond and with you all the way.
“So I like him to stand up for what he thinks is right. We have grown enormously [close] over the years, as we will continue to do.
There were several close fights and key flashpoints between the two title rivals in 2021, most notably at Silverstone and Monza, when they collided.
After another close call to Brazil passed without incident, the Mercedes driver was asked if he felt the touch and any acrimony from tense moments hurt the spectacle of the title battle.
” I do not think so. This is sport, isn’t it? Hamilton responded.
“It’s intense, the battle on and off the track… I think there is no reason that, as men, it cannot be discussed and understood. I think at the end of the day respect is really important, that we stay respectful of each other, on and off the track.
The two champions of the title are separated by only 14 points as the weekend in Qatar approaches, this fight for the World Championship seems to go to the end.