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Motor racing-Hamilton happy to see Mercedes boss's fighting spirit - Metro US

Motor racing-Hamilton happy to see Mercedes boss’s fighting spirit

Qatar Grand Prix

(Reuters) – Toto Wolff is fired up and spoiling for a fight as his Mercedes team battle to be Formula One champions for an unprecedented eighth year in a row and Lewis Hamilton is loving it.

Wolff and rival Red Bull boss Christian Horner have cranked up the war of words off track and the Mercedes man was in full flow in Brazil last weekend on a rollercoaster of a winning weekend for his team.

“I love seeing Toto’s fighting spirit,” seven times world champion Hamilton told reporters at the Qatar Grand Prix when asked about Wolff ‘getting hot under the collar’ and whether the stress was taking its toll.

“It makes me so happy.

“There’s a shot I saw from the last race and it just made me laugh inside, it was so good.

“If he just cared less and was just chilled, it just wouldn’t be… that fire and passion is a part of our infrastructure and our ecosystem and it trickles down from him. He is the leader of the team.

“You want that in your boss, someone that’s out there go-getting and pushing and chasing every millisecond and with you along the way. I love that he stands for what he thinks is right. We’ve grown hugely closer over these years.”

Wolff lit up social media when he angrily pointed a finger at the television camera after Hamilton took his 101st career win in Brazil.

He explained it afterwards by saying “that was just a friendly hello at the race director”.

Hamilton had been sent to the back of the grid after qualifying for the Saturday sprint when his car failed a technical check, and started the main race 10th after an engine penalty.

Wolff was already in a Mercedes-against-the-world mood on Saturday when he swore over the radio to Hamilton after the Briton went from last to fifth in the sprint race.

He remained combative after the race, with Mercedes requesting a stewards’ review of a defensive move by Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen that sent him and Hamilton off track.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by 14 points with three races remaining. Mercedes are 11 clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)

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