During the Mercedes-centric Netflix episode of Formula One: Drive to Survive, there was a big moment. The focus of the episode was the German Grand Prix, where Mercedes were celebrating their 200th race and 125 years of racing.
Sadly, they had a nightmarish race, with Lewis Hamilton 11th and Valtteri Bottas in the wall. Of course, team principal Toto Wolff was not in a good mood, but a reporter’s question really wound him up. That moment was aired, as well as Wolff’s curt response.
The Mercedes team boss put away his mask and finally lashed out during the post-race press conference. To be fair, nobody could blame him, as Hamilton endured one of his worst races while Bottas crashed out. The team were all decked out in 1950s era clothes and a new paintjob for the W10 to mark the occasion of their 200th race.
🍿 Lots of great responses to #DTS2 but also some unfortunate negativity out there. Independent media who ask uncomfortable questions are vital to @F1. We fully support journalists like @benjhunt – they hold us all to account, whether we like it or not 😀
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 1, 2020
Apparently, The Sun’s Ben Hunt possibly overstepped his boundaries, with a bold question. He asked, “How embarrassing is this for you. The team’s home race? Having Netflix here? You know, you’ve got the outfits, everything was poised for the celebration and you’ve ended up with a car in eleventh and car in the kitty litter. It can’t be too good?”
A visibly miffed Wolff snapped, “You want a headline for The Sun from me? I’m not going to give you a headline.”
What was the Mercedes boss’ reaction?
Luckily, the Mercedes boss calmed down enough to admit that it was a terrible day in the office. He confessed that when Hamilton slithered into the wall, the team made the wrong call with the tyres.
However, he refused to blame one solitary mistake, and classed it as several factors working against the team. Eagle-eyed Netflix cameras showed the raging storm clouds surrounding Wolff’s head during the press conference.
For his part, Hunt later apologised to Wolff and the team for his uncomfortable questions. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and The Sun’s reputation was sullied even further. However, Mercedes responded to the reactions to the episode and threw their support behind Hunt.