Jolyon Palmer believes Toto Wolff’s radio comments about Nikita Mazepin was part of a greater plan to tarnish his image.
Mazepin has stirred controversy left and right this season, and earned the wrath of other drivers in the process. At Spain, however, it was a Team Principal who lashed out at him.
During the Spanish GP, Lewis Hamilton tried to lap Mazepin, and Wolff complained to the FIA to bring out blue flags. Wolff was quoted as saying, “This guy makes us lose positions”. As such, Palmer believes all this is part of a well-thought-out plan to destroy the Haas driver’s reputation.
Palmer was asked on F1 podcast Chequered Flag if he was surprised to hear Wolff on radio.
He replied, “Is it unusual? Or is it unusual that we heard it!? It’s interesting that was broadcast. I have never heard it in my life, (that) the FIA to Team Principal conversation’s broadcast. And that was picked up and something that’s been chosen to run, as well. We know the narrative against Mazepin.”
He furthered his theory, saying, “(He) comes in with huge backing, not the most popular driver, and is not doing well. And it just helps to sort of pop that narrative a little bit more.”
Is the speculation justified?
Palmer is right to formulate a conspiracy theory, especially because such radio conversations are never telecasted live. The incident sparked different opinions across the F1 fraternity.
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner called it a publicity stunt, but race director Michael Masi saw it otherwise.
Masi referred to it as “one of the innovations that the FIA has worked together with F1”.
He said, “The F1 Group through their broadcasts, has been doing some trials in the background of seeing what that looks like. And all the teams were advised and this weekend’s the first time it’s gone live to air.”