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Wolff Rebukes Hamilton's Quest for Quick Fixes

Wolff Rebukes Hamilton’s Quest for Quick Fixes

22/04/2024

Toto Wolff criticizes Lewis Hamilton’s search for immediate solutions as Mercedes F1 struggles for pace in China.

Toto Wolff believes that Mercedes F1 maximized its result given its starting positions. The team principal lamented the overly extreme adjustments and pointedly referred to Lewis Hamilton, who started 18th and fortunately managed to move up during the race thanks to safety cars.

“Considering where we started the race and, more importantly, where we had set the car’s adjustments after the Sprint, finishing sixth and ninth was the best prediction of our pre-race simulations,” noted Wolff.

“As I said after the race, our car is not fast enough right now. However, we must ensure that we are not trying to find a miracle solution every weekend regarding how we adjust the car; we need to focus on establishing the right foundations and maximizing what we have.”

“In China, we did not have the car in the right window: we made too many extreme changes after the Sprint which made the most important part of the weekend much more difficult. We know the overall result is not solid enough, so we must dig deep to make improvements.”

“The pack behind Red Bull is tight and small details can make a big difference in terms of final position. We have developments coming in the next races which, hopefully, will be a step forward and improve the car.”

Strategies That Pay Off.

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ track engineering director, anticipated the team would struggle this Sunday but praised their successful strategies: “We knew it would be a tough race for us. We are not fast enough right now and we did not qualify well.”

“Our final positions were exactly where we had predicted them in the morning. George couldn’t really have done more; he had a good start, which allowed him to get ahead of the Ferraris, but we had overworked the rear tires during that first stint and had to change tires earlier than planned.”

“That early stop would have been difficult to manage, but the two Safety Car periods were beneficial to us and neutralized the tire degradation difference. From there, the race was straightforward for him. We weren’t fast enough to attack Sainz but we had the pace to stay ahead of Fernando.”

“Lewis’s race was not easy as he didn’t gain much from starting on soft tires. He then got stuck in a jam on the inside line around turn 2 and lost ground on the first lap.”

“We had made some changes to his car after the Sprint and clearly, it did not improve the car. It made qualifying and the race difficult. He struggled to turn the car and had to use power to do so, which damaged the rear tires.”

“We decided to pit him during the virtual safety car to counter the other cars, but most of our competitors did the same once the safety car was deployed. We benefited from the retirement of some cars but, given the start of the race, it was a relief to score some points.”

Wolff Rebukes Hamilton's Quest for Quick Fixes

Wolff Rebukes Hamilton’s Quest for Quick Fixes. Wolff Rebukes Hamilton’s Quest for Quick Fixes

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