BARCELONA, June 21 — Mercedes boss Toto Wolff confirmed on Friday the police were investigating an email from “a lunatic” claiming his team were sabotaging Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton’s car.

A visibly angry Wolff spoke out in the strongest terms possible over the “upsetting” email which he denied had come from a member of Mercedes’ 1,500 workforce and which has been sent to Formula One’s major players including the FIA.

“This was not from a member of the team, this email is upsetting, somebody talking about death.

“We have instructed the full force to look into it from the police to research the IP address.


“Online abuse of that way it needs to stop, people can’t hide behind their phones and abuse drivers in a way like this.

“These lunatics, all those mad people out there — take a shrink.”

Wolff was reacting to a report by Britain’s Press Association news agency about an email that claimed Hamilton was being mistreated by Mercedes following the seven-time world champion’s decision to leave the Silver Arrows for Ferrari next season.


The email, which the PA said was titled “a potential death warrant for Lewis”, reportedly accused Wolff of being “vindictive”, and added that the Austrian was doing everything possible “to get back at the driver for quitting Mercedes.

Wolff railed at that suggestion.

“We want to be successful with the most iconic driver we’ve ever had.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Lewis, he is an incredible personality.

“We totally respect the reasons for him going to Ferrari, there are no bad feelings.

“So every comment from outside about the team is wrong.

“There is always a limit, and the joking stops, and we will pursue this.

“People who abuse (online) like this are cowards, that’s one of the negatives of social media.

“Lewis is part of the team for 12 years, we have a friendship, we trust each other, we want to end it on a high.”

Wolff said there were “always people typing away in their bedrooms, if they want to abuse and hide behind a made up Instagram account, come out and say who you are, don’t hide.”

Hamilton’s soon to be new boss, Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur, appearing at the same press conference as Wolff, totally concurred with the Mercedes chief.

“How you could imagine with 1,500 people working night and day that they could damage one of their cars, it’s completely irrational. We are all fighting for the (constructors) championship, how you could imagine it would be ok for them to say about Lewis we don’t want to score points with him, it’s totally irrational.” — AFP