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Dash race triggered “alarm bells” about “bleak” F1 Brazilian GP

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Crew boss Toto Wolff reckoned the weekend in Sao Paulo was the worst of his 13 years in F1, as Lewis Hamilton completed the GP in eighth whereas George Russell retired with 14 of the 71 laps remaining. This was to guard the ability unit after rising oil temperature and “worrying” pressures have been detected.

Following the introduction of an up to date flooring for america GP, Mercedes initially loved a bounce in efficiency that enabled Hamilton to strain Verstappen for victory in Austin, earlier than being disqualified for an excessively worn plank. The seven-time champion then completed runner-up in Mexico.

The workforce had hoped for a equally aggressive exhibiting in Brazil based mostly on its race simulations within the sole observe session, earlier than realising early into the dash race that its tempo had taken a serious hit.

Head of trackside efficiency Riccardo Musconi stated: “The long term tempo we confirmed in free observe was fairly reassuring. We didn’t assume that we would have liked to alter the automobile round, so we went into qualifying, and the outcomes have been across the third row.

“In a means, we weren’t happy with it, and we felt the automobile deserved extra.”

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However that promise then gave approach to “alarm bells” that prompted a simulator session again on the Brackley manufacturing facility after Mercedes recognized regarding tyre behaviour.

Musconi continued: “The alarm bells went out through the dash race as a result of after the encouraging first two laps, the degradation of our automobile was fairly excessive, primarily coming from the rear axle. At that stage we apprehensive about our efficiency on the Sunday.

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

“We organised for a simulator session again on the manufacturing facility, wanting on the parameters we may change between Saturday and Sunday.”

Given it was a dash occasion with restricted observe operating and the early introduction of parc ferme guidelines, the workforce was restricted in the way it may tweak the set-up of the W14. As such, Saturday painted a “bleak image” of how the complete GP would unfold.

“We have been hoping that addressing a number of the points we skilled on Saturday, like pushing very exhausting on the primary couple of laps, doing a bit extra administration and trimming a bit the stability of the automobile with the flap, would have been sufficient to place us in a extra comfy place for Sunday,” added Musconi.

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“What got here out of Sunday was fairly a bleak image resemblant of our Saturday.

“We improved the degradation a bit on the rear axle however on the identical time we began affected by understeer, so the automobile was struggling to show. The tempo due to this fact wasn’t there and we couldn’t compete on the entrance.”

Mercedes clarified that breaking parc ferme guidelines to change the set-up, on the expense of a pitlane begin as per Aston Martin and Haas in Austin, was “off the desk”.

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