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“Worse than we thought!”

“Worse than we thought!”

( – No, Toto Wolff can’t come to a positive conclusion after Spielberg’s Formula 1 race: ‘Very tough, even worse than we thought’ Mercedes sports boss tussles with Sky for seventh and eight in favor of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who had no say in the battle for the podium.

Lewis Hamilton could not fight Red Bull for a long time

Hamilton was nearly 40 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen. If you think he came to the pit stops two laps before the end to change tyres, the gap is more like a minute – with Russell a further nine seconds.

“The car was slow,” says Wolf, who doesn’t want to talk about a bad day, but a bad day. “We had a good upside, and now we’ve taken a real step back in the stomach pit.”

Because in the last race in Canada I finished on the podium, before that in Barcelona twice. In Spielberg, on the other hand, you even had to be demolished by Lando Norris in his McLaren.

“Lando did a great job today, they were so fast we didn’t expect them to be so fast,” says Hamilton, but admits: “We weren’t expected to be that bad either. This track showed us some areas to work – definitely not the best day.” .

Early problems with track limits

The Briton says Mercedes didn’t have a strong back all weekend. “So we took a lot out of the front wing to keep the balance.” But this brought new problems. Hamilton complained, especially in the early stages, that his car was slipping – especially in turn ten.

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“I couldn’t do anything about it, and that’s why I had such a hard time pushing the limits of the track,” says Hamilton. The Mercedes driver committed a total of five offenses and was given a five-second time fine. A little later he started counting other competitors’ violations as well.

“Of course it doesn’t do you any good to get a penalty,” says Wolff, who repeatedly turns to Hamilton’s car to calm the Briton. So he performed on the radio: “The car is bad, please drive it.”

But the Austrian said that the penalties did not change much in the result: “We may be ahead of Fernando [Alonso] landed”, but in general Mercedes and Aston Martin were “nowhere with speed”.

Just a setup problem?

“Since Friday we saw we lost a few tenths and couldn’t make the car faster. Once the tires started slipping, either when braking or in a corner, we didn’t have any more grip,” Wolff said. “It contributed to our lack of performance, but we need to analyze it more closely.”

Principal race engineer Andrew Shovlin is also still groping in the dark: “We have to figure out how far this was because we didn’t get the setup right and how far it was just basic performance,” he says.

“We haven’t given any updates for the last few races, so it’s also possible that we’re lacking in development. We have plans to address that, but being behind Ferrari was definitely an issue today,” said Shovlin.

Russell hoped for more

George Russell hasn’t progressed as far as he would have liked either. He got stuck in Q2 after a bad qualifying session and had to start in eleventh. But while he still managed a podium finish in Barcelona, ​​he couldn’t do better than 8th today.

Russell admits he was “hoping for more” from the Grand Prix. “We have the same car as in Barcelona, ​​where we did well, so we need to understand what went wrong,” he says.

In shape again at Silverstone?

“The car definitely doesn’t feel like we want it to at the moment. It’s moving a lot and it felt a little worse than the other tracks this weekend, but the speed was a lot worse, so we have to push through that goes to the bottom.”

However, the silver stocks are in good spirits as the short-term crash is due solely to the distance. “The ups and downs from racetrack to racetrack are very interesting. Sometimes we are Red Bull’s closest competitors and sometimes we struggle,” says Wolff.

Russell is encouraged: “This bodes well for Silverstone, because the track is more like Barcelona than Austria.” W: According to Wolff, Mercedes will have another upgrade in their baggage there. “We’ll see if the track fits the characteristics of our car more, then we’ll see and analyze it.”