TOTO WOLFF fears “lethal consequences” could occur at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff fears an F1 driver could die at the Dutch Grand Prix (Image: GETTY) SUBSCRIBE Invalid email
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Toto Wolff has raised major fears that an F1 driver could die during the Dutch Grand Prix if fans continue to throw flares on the track. With cars blasting around the circuit at 200mph, there are enough dangers the drivers face without their visibility being limited.
Verstappen fans threw two orange flares onto the track during qualifying on Saturday and one person was arrested. The first incident occurred during Q2 when it was just Alex Albon out of the pits, bringing out the red flag.
The second flare rolled across the circuit during Q3 which again forced qualifying to be temporarily suspended. And Wolff suggested it could have been aimed at Hamilton and fears grave consequences if the incidents continue.
“It’s a shame there are a few total idiots out there who don’t consider what a flare can do to a driver. If such a can hits you, it can have lethal consequences,” the Mercedes boss said. “The halo wouldn’t help you in that.
“We looked at the camera angles and Lewis was going through the pit lane. I don’t know if somebody threw it at him, but it happened before he actually was at that point.
Two flares were thrown onto the track during qualifying (Image: GETTY)
“I hope the organisers have a grip on it.”
Dutch GP bosses are trying to clamp down on those who take flares into the Zandvoort circuit with stringent searches but some of the 110,000 spectators are slipping through the net.
Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell explained the drivers’ point of view and called for fans to stop putting the stars at risk.
“If you run over it, and it is sharp, it can give you a puncture. It is one of those things where it could be harmless or cause a lot of damage,” he said.
“It is quite a spectacle to see it in the stands, but I can’t imagine if you are standing there it is that pleasant.
Max Verstappen fans bring orange flares to show their support (Image: GETTY)
“It would be a shame to see them stopped for good because it has become part of the show, but I would like to see people show common sense rather than throwing flares on to the track.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton is looking forward to driving a competitive car as he aims for a podium spot.
“I am much happier coming into this weekend and having a car that can fight for the front row,” said Hamilton. “And if we didn’t have the yellow flag we could have been fighting for the front row.
“I don’t understand how one weekend we can be so far off, and then all of a sudden we are right there. It is confusing. The car has a mood swing and you don’t know what side of bed it is going to get out of.
“But there are lots of positives to take. I am definitely optimistic, it is just difficult to overtake here.
“The car was strong, and I felt like I could have gone quicker, so hopefully that translates to tomorrow. I will definitely be pushing as hard as I can for a podium.”