MERCEDES boss Toto Wolff fiercely defended organisers of the Las Vegas Grand Prix with a passionate rant following Thursday’s cancelled practice session.
FP1 lasted just eight minutes before it was brought to a halt after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz hit a loose manhole cover.
Sky SportsToto Wolff, second from left, raged at critics of the Las Vegas Grand Prix[/caption]
Sky SportsHe could not believe people were labelling the FP1 incident a ‘black eye for the sport’[/caption]
The track issue has led to criticism of the event – the inaugural Las Vegas race.
However, Wolff was quick to reject that way of thinking after one reporter suggested the incident was a “black eye” for the sport.
The Mercedes chief said: “That is not a black eye. This is nothing.
“We are Thursday night, we have a free practice session one that we are not doing. We are going to seal the drain covers and no one is going to talk about that tomorrow morning.”
When pressed further on his comments, he added: “It’s completely ridiculous. How can you even dare try to talk bad about an event that sets the new standards to everything.
“Then you are speaking about a f***ing drain cover that has been undone – that has happened before – that’s nothing. It’s FP1.
“Give credit to the people that have set up this Grand Prix, that have made this sport much bigger than it ever was.”
Talking directly to a journalist, he continued: “Have you ever spoken good about someone and written a good word? You should about all these people that have been out here.
“Liberty [F1’s owners Liberty Media] has done an awesome job and just because in FP1 a drain cover has come undone we shouldn’t be moaning.
“The car [Sainz’s Ferrari] is broken, that’s really a shame. For Carlos it could have been dangerous. So between the FIA, the track, everybody needs to analyse how we can make sure this is not happening again.
“But talking here about the black eye for the sport on a Thursday evening… nobody watches it at European time anyway. Come on.”
The second practice session was delayed, but the drivers eventually got out on track as Charles Leclerc topped the leaderboard.
It comes off the back of a nightmare weekend in Brazil for the Silver Arrows as Hamilton finished eighth and Russell failed to finish.