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Mercedes F1's Melbourne Misfortunes Zero Points

Mercedes F1’s Melbourne Misfortunes: Zero Points

25/03/2024

After a promising start, Mercedes F1’s Melbourne race ends in dismay, with both drivers failing to score points, amidst technical failures and on-track controversies.

Mercedes F1 faced a setback in Melbourne as the Brackley-based team left the Australian Grand Prix without any points. Team principal Toto Wolff reflected on the issues that affected Lewis Hamilton, and the misfortune that befell George Russell behind Fernando Alonso.

“It was a disappointing race in Melbourne, capping off a challenging weekend. After making the bold decision to start on soft tyres, Lewis was making good progress. Unfortunately, his race came to an early end. We will send the engine back to Brixworth and investigate the failure,” Wolff explained.

“For George, it was clear that Alonso had braked earlier than in previous laps. It was up to the stewards to determine the reason for this, and ultimately they deemed it dangerous driving. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change our outcome, as we finished without a car.”

“No one is certain of the cause of our current situation; we clearly lack race competitiveness, but we are determined to turn things around. It’s hard to accept, but we will remain calm and collected. We’ve seen before that when things are done correctly, situations can quickly change. That’s what we aim to do.”

Shovlin criticizes “Alonso’s unsporting maneuver”

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, expressed his disappointment: “It was a very disappointing end to a tough weekend, with a lot of damage to repair before Japan in two weeks.”

“We approached the race hoping to make up ground from our grid positions: for Lewis, this meant starting on softs, which helped him gain positions in the first lap, and George on mediums.”

“Lewis’s race was cut short by a sudden and unexpected power unit failure; we were not forewarned and will need to conduct a thorough investigation once it returns to Brixworth.”

“For George, he knew he had to do two long stints on hard tyres and find the right balance between pushing the tyre and extending its life. It was clear we were not in a position to compete with the top three teams, and he was racing for 6th place after Alonso pitted under the VSC caused by Lewis’s retirement and gained a position on track.”

However, the engineer was particularly outspoken about Alonso’s move on Russell: “George had the chance to regain the position during the final stint and was clearly taken aback by Alonso’s unexpected and unsporting maneuver in front of him in the penultimate lap.”

Mercedes F1’s Melbourne Misfortunes: Zero Points. Mercedes F1’s Melbourne Misfortunes: Zero Points

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