(Motorsport-Total.com) – It was after Max Verstappen’s first stop at the Spanish Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton had taken the lead and faced Nikita Masbin – when Tutu Wolf was excitedly heard on pit radio in a direction said Michael Massey, race director At the FIA: “Michael, show the blue flags! Michael, we’re losing our position because of this guy.”
© Motorsport Pictures
Toto Wolf (Team Manager) James Allison (Mercedes Technical Director)
Presumably, this would be an unusual situation for an audience of millions to hear on TV how a team leader defaced an opponent directly to race management. But the radio message was not as strange as it might seem to foreigners at first.
“We seldom hear Tutu on RMS radio,” Massey says of the situation. “But one of the innovations that the FIA worked on with Formula 1 and that was discussed at the Formula 1 Committee meeting last year is that the communication between the FIA and the teams can be heard during the live broadcast. The broadcast has to be.”
Massey reveals that this change was tested for the first time in Barcelona, and thus Wolff’s complaint about Masbin was heard. “The Formula 1 group already tested this in the background. But in Barcelona all the teams were informed that this radio traffic could now start on the air for the first time,” says the Australian.
Haas boss Gunther Steiner did not initially notice the radio message, but was informed of it in a briefing with the engineers after the race. He did not want to comment on the situation at first, but emphasized that Masbin had not acted unfairly upon rolling.
“Toto is just a tutu. Maybe he just wanted to make sure people could see who the boss is here. When he comes, everyone should get out of the way,” the Haas team leader said with a wink. “He surrendered for it rather than letting his kids do the work. I think he wanted a little publicity.”
Ultimately, the situation had no effect on the outcome of the race anyway. Although he had to bypass Masbin, Hamilton won the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen, celebrated his third victory in the fourth race of the season, and increased lead in the drivers’ championship to 14 points.