Toto Wolff says Red Bull ‘woke the lion’ as Hamilton seals dominant Qatar GP win

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Toto Wolff says Red Bull ‘woke the lion’ in Lewis Hamilton as the Brit sealed a dominant win at the Qatar Grand Prix. This marked the 36-year-old’s second successive win and has closed rival Max Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points.

Following the inaugural Grand Prix in Qatar, the Mercedes team principal spoke about Hamilton’s victory and his chances of winning the F1 title.

“It’s funny, because the initial feeling is bittersweet, because both championships matter,” he told Damon Hill on Sky Sports F1.

“It’s great for Lewis [in the Drivers’ Championship], and the car seems really fast. That’s a great indication for what is to come in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.”

The Austrian is looking forward to the first Grand Prix to be held in Saudi Arabia in two weeks’ time and is optimistic about his team’s chances of success.

“Saudi should be a good track for us. We will get our spicy equipment out for that and see what we can do. We need Valtteri up there too,” he added.

JUST IN: Max Verstappen breaks silence on FIA sanction after losing out to Lewis Hamilton in Qatar

“[Lewis] is totally in the zone. The lion has been woken up. They [Red Bull] woke the lion at Interlagos last week.”

“On the pressure of the first real fight Mercedes have endured with a rival time in the turbo-hybrid era, he added: “I really enjoy the ride because it’s such fun when it’s so tough, that’s exactly why we’re in this sport.”

The seven-time champion got off to a lightning start and stormed ahead of the field to take the chequered flag in dominant fashion.

The silver arrows had blistering pace all weekend which their rivals were unable to match.

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To add insult to injury, Red Bull’s team principal Chritsian Horner was summoned to the stewards after an alleged breach of 12.2.1 f and 12.2.1 k of the international sporting code.

Horner admitted after seeing the stewards that it was for comments he made to Sky Sports F1 ahead of the race after being unhappy his driver had been penalised in Qatar.

As a result, the 48-year-old was handed an official warning by the FIA after making a “statement accusing the flag marshal who waved the double yellow flag at Point 16.6 as being a ‘Rogue Marshal'” which was a breach of FIA rules.

The document read: “The Stewards heard from the Team Principal (Christian Horner). He explained that his reaction was one that was made under the pressure of competition following the penalty imposed on the driver of Car 33.

“The Stewards explained that the marshal concerned was doing his job in precisely the manner prescribed in the International Sporting Code.

“Mr Horner offered to apologise to the marshal concerned and to explain to the media that he meant no offense.

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“He also offered to participate in the 2022 FIA International Stewards Programme in early February. The Stewards unreservedly accept Mr Horner’s offer.”

F1’s top two teams will resume battle in the penultimate race of the season in two weeks at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

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