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Wolff: We're not getting it 100% right

NEWS STORY
13/06/2016

Though Lewis Hamilton took a convincing win on Sunday, thanks to a couple of errors from Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel, not to mention some obstinate seagulls, the Briton's cause was not helped by a start that left him looking as though he'd fallen asleep. The world champion and his teammate were left for dead as Sebastian Vettel made another lightning start and headed off into the distance.

"To be fair we had some great starts at some of the last races, but Canada wasn't great," admitted Toto Wolff to the official F1 website. "We have to analyse what happened. Ferrari had a much better start, we have to accept that."

Asked if Montreal was a repeat of the issues suffered at the start of the season, the Austrian said: "I think it was rather a slip today, simply not getting it 100 percent right.

"The initial getaway from Ferrari looked great so maybe they have some kind of I don't know what," he added. "We have to look at it."

Indeed, Hamilton's failure to be able to respond to Vettel in those opening laps indicated Ferrari is making progress.

"They have gained and so have Renault," said Wolff. "In terms of engine power they almost equal us. But let's see what the next race brings, because Baku is obviously a power sensitive track. It will get very interesting there!"

Other than Vettel's superb start, the Mercedes duo came close to a repeat of Barcelona as they headed into Turn 1, Rosberg having to cut the corner after his teammate left him no other option.

"It was a hard manoeuvre," admits Wolff. "Lewis said that he had understeer. From a team perspective when you make the front row of the grid and come out of the first corner in P2 and P9 that is not pleasant to say the least. But for me it feels like deja vu, as we are having these discussions after every race. That's probably what you get if you let your guys race, then they do. As long as they don't crash out like they did in Barcelona, we are fine with it.

"Turn 1 is a difficult place," he added. "There is a concrete run-off area. If there was a wall there you would definitely think again about taking chances there. If you are on the inside you dictate the line."

Asked if Vettel's early stop under the VSC caused Mercedes to have second thoughts, Wolff is adamant.

"No, we would not have done it. The two-stop strategy was the fastest strategy by a couple of seconds, but it was clear that this VSC came a bit early and it was too early for us in respect of the best possible two-stop strategy. This is why we decided to stay out. And then we changed the strategy completely.

"After Friday's running we kind of understood that there was a chance with these low temperatures," he continued, referring to the gamble of running Hamilton for 46 laps on his yellow-banded softs, "but to be honest until ten laps before the chequered flag we still weren't completely sure.

"What gave us confidence was that the tyre temperature didn't drop," he continued. "That, and Fernando Alonso was kind of a guinea pig for us. He did seven more laps than Lewis, so we guessed that if he went over the cliff we could react. Clearly the soft tyre is really robust."

Revealing that Rosberg's late puncture was due to debris, Wolff was asked about the numerous warnings the German was receiving in his cockpit.

"Yes, he had every thinkable warning on the dash," confirmed the Austrian. "Our guess it that him running wide and over the grass at Turn 1 blocked some of the cooling, so he had warnings for callipers, gears, discs... everything you can imagine. That settled a bit, but at some point the fuel issue came on top.

"Such a situation is distracting for the driver, and with the amount of lights blinking he asked if this was for real and we told him it was. But we managed never to cross any limit where the engine would have taken serious damage. It all was manageable."

As to Rosberg's duel with Verstappen...

"Nico was marginal on fuel, so he had to back off at some point in the race and then he came back and made his move on Verstappen. But Verstappen was defending very well. Nico tried a late braking, but then lost the car."

Having won the opening four races, Rosberg crashed out in Barcelona and failed to make it to the podium in the next two, allowing Hamilton to close to within 9 points.

"Remember, he won seven races in a row and everybody was writing about the 'phenomenon'. Now after only three not-so-easy races you better keep quiet. Anything else would be unfair."

Check out our Sunday gallery, here.

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1. Posted by metalhead, 14/06/2016 23:23

"Who still watches this stuff?-fringe hobby at best"

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2. Posted by Tweek, 14/06/2016 17:11

"Edlorca...... Same thing happened to me. Love American broadcasting!!!"

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3. Posted by edllorca, 14/06/2016 3:45

"Went to watch the race on NBCSN at the odd time of 5pm but that is what the guide said and it was golf and wrestling. the aired the race 6 hours earlier... Figures Bernie would pick a channel that has no idea how to broadcast."

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4. Posted by bfairey, 13/06/2016 23:51

"so F1 is turning into an economy run?"

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5. Posted by Kkiirmki, 13/06/2016 21:08

"Why worry about "getting it 100% right"? Your rivals are excelling at gifting Mercedes wins."

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