FIA avoided Leclerc's penalty to prevent Ferrari fans disappointment - Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff looks on during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. <i> Image: AFP / Georg Hochmuth </i>
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff looks on during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix. <i> Image: AFP / Georg Hochmuth </i>
Georg Hochmuth

Toto Wolff has suggested Charles Leclerc avoided penalty on Sunday because the FIA was afraid to disappoint Ferrari's supporters.

Lewis Hamilton complained about the aggressiveness of back-to-back winner Leclerc's defence as the 21-year-old raced to victory at Monza.

"I guess the stewards woke up on a different side of the bed this morning," said the Mercedes driver.

"I had to avoid colliding with him a couple of times but I guess that's how the racing is today."

Leclerc admitted he was "very on the limit" with his aggression, but said he changed his style after an aggressive Max Verstappen was also not punished in Austria.

"Today it's also thanks to Austria that I've managed to win.  I'm happy to race like this," he said.

Hamilton's boss Toto Wolff, though, thinks a penalty was in order.

"But can you imagine if the stewards had done a 5 second penalty?  You would need a police escort to leave the circuit," he said.

However, Wolff said he will not be making a big deal about it with F1's new-in-2019 race director Michael Masi.

"I have enough problems in my life that I don't need another one by entering into a conversation with Michael Masi and the FIA," said Wolff.

Masi defended himself anyway, saying the stewards "proceed on the basis that drivers are allowed to fight on the track".

"Approaches are changing and it gives results," he added, referring to the new usage of the black and white flag for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

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