Mercedes go to police over email claiming Lewis Hamilton’s car was ‘sabotaged’

Mercedes have reported an anonymous email which claimed Lewis Hamilton’s car has been “sabotaged” to the police.

The letter, said to be written by a disgruntled Mercedes staff member, was sent to Formula One’s major players – including the Silver Arrows’ team principal Toto Wolff, F1 boss Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, as well as members of the media – in the wake of the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month.

The email suggested Hamilton, who is leaving Mercedes to join Ferrari next season, is being mistreated in his farewell campaign with the Silver Arrows.

Mercedes, who are confident the email did not originate from within their team, confirmed to the PA news agency that they investigated the provenance of correspondence and have now turned the matter over to the police.

Mercedes tam principal Toto Wolff walks through the paddock at this year's Bahrain Grand Prix
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff (David Davies/PA)

Speaking prior to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton, 39, said he had not seen the e-mail which was addressed to the same recipients used to leak messages pertaining to be exchanged between Christian Horner and his complainant on the eve of the season-opening race in Bahrain.

The message, titled “a potential death warrant for Lewis”, accused Wolff of being “vindictive” and said the Austrian, 52, “is doing everything possible to get back at him (Hamilton)” for electing to quit Mercedes for Ferrari.

It added that it “could ultimately be life-threatening to Lewis”.

Social media is also awash with claims of foul play against Hamilton.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton racing team-mate George Russell in Bahrain earlier this yearahrain Grand Prix – Race – Bahrain International Circuit
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton racing team-mate George Russell in Bahrain earlier this year (David Davies/PA)

Responding to the claims on Thursday, the 39-year-old said: “They know that if you look down the years we have been a strong team and worked hard together,” said Hamilton, who revealed that he has not seen the e-mail in question.

“It is easy to get emotional. I only commented on the last race for example just about my performance. We need support, not negativity.”

Hamilton has been out-qualified by team-mate George Russell at eight of the nine races so far this season.

Hamilton missed out on a podium in Montreal when Russell overtook him on the penultimate lap. The younger Briton has since been subjected to online abuse.

“I was not actually aware George was experiencing negativity,” said Hamilton, who trails Russell by 14 points in the standings.

“George has done nothing but his best every single weekend and delivered for the team so he cannot be faulted at all.

“Of course there can always be things that are done better within the team, and that comes through conversations and communication which is something we are consistently working on.

“We are all in the same boat and working hard together. We all want to finish on a high and I feel like we owe that to our long-term relationship.”

Wolff is due to address the media here in Barcelona at 1500 local time (1400BST).