"We need to provide Lewis with the right car," admits Wolff


Mercedes post-qualifying debrief was described as "tough" but "productive" by Toto Wolff as he admits the team didn't provide Lewis Hamilton with the car he needed.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Mercedes post-qualifying debrief, what with Lewis Hamilton, having qualified seventh, describing changes made to his car as a "disaster".

"There are things that should have been done which haven't been done," said the world champion in the moments after the session.

Asked to explain what he meant, he replied: "I can't really say. But from my point it's a little frustrating. It is what it is. I can't really say too much about it.

"Also I don't want to be critical of team, but behind closed doors, I will be," he admitted. "We've got to work harder.

"There were lots of changes that we did in the car after FP3, because FP3 was a disaster," he added, the Briton, ironically, having finished seventh in that session also.

"It was completely the wrong direction, we completely missed the ball. Then we made some changes to try and take steps backwards and move the car into a different place and the car was worse than ever. I think we really lost our way from Thursday."

"We've just had a very productive and tough debriefing," Toto Wolff told reporters following the debrief, "and those are exactly the days where we learn the most.

"This team has a brutal honesty and transparency within itself, and we didn't get things right," he admitted. "It's not completely clear yet how all the tuning possibilities were interacting with each other. But I would generally say that we were not having enough grip in each of those runs... and probably linked to tyre temperature.

"Again, we need to analyse that, but one thing is for sure, all of us together, we were not competitive. We didn't provide Lewis with the right car to build up the confidence and based on a good gripping car that he would like to have."

Asked about Hamilton's comments, he said: "When you're finishing P7 in Monaco, you know pretty much that's potentially the end of the weekend, then venting your frustration is absolutely OK. Nobody in the team takes it the hard way, because we express it the other way around too. He's the first one to acknowledge and apologise when things go wrong. He's done that in public and privately. As a group, I think that's one of our big assets that made us champions in the past, that we are able to take it on the chin.

"There was one particular aspect of tyre heating that we discussed this morning and on Thursday night where we could have taken a different direction, a direction that he was interested to pursue, that we didn't. That was exactly the content of our discussions now, how can we go into an exploration mode when we expect much colder temperatures."

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Published: 22/05/2021
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