Mercedes are too fast to cheat, says Ralf Schumacher, as Lewis Hamilton chases F1 world title

·1 min read
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff with driver Lewis Hamilton  (PA Archive)
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff with driver Lewis Hamilton (PA Archive)

Ralf Schumacher has poured doubt over suspicions Mercedes are bending the rules to win the Formula 1 world championship, saying they are fast enough not to cheat.

Questions have been asked of Mercedes in recent weeks as Lewis Hamilton was hit with grid-place penalties, first for yet another engine change and then over the specification of his rear wing.

Hamilton won the Qatar Grand Prix to cut his deficit to Max Verstappen to eight points at the top of the drivers’ championship, with two races to go.

“We have seen again here [in Qatar] that Mercedes is fast enough and does not have to cheat,” former F1 driver Schumacher told Sky Deutschland. “I do not assume that any team wilfully disregard the rules. If you go close to the limit, something can always go wrong and you get into grey areas.”

Schumacher, the brother of former champion Michael and uncle of current driver Mick, believes Hamilton now has the upper hand despite trailing in the standings.

“The Mercedes is currently the more stable package,” he added. “Max gives everything and shows how good he is. Under normal circumstances, however, he has no chance. Maybe he will have the luck that he has lacked so far. If he had that already at the beginning of the season, he might now be world champion.”

Hamilton and Verstappen will renew rivalries in Jiddah at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on 5 December, before the championship finale in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

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