Off the again of aggressive showings in the US and Mexico, and returning to the scene of its 2022 triumph, Mercedes had hoped for one more robust outing at Interlagos.
But it surely endured considered one of its least aggressive weekends of the 12 months, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggling for velocity in qualifying after which being properly off the tempo within the race.
Russell managed fourth within the dash earlier than retiring from the grand prix, whereas Hamilton grabbed a seventh within the dash and completed eighth on Sunday – however a couple of minute behind race-winner Max Verstappen. Mercedes-powered prospects McLaren and Aston Martin each completed on the rostrum.
Wolff stated the dearth of efficiency proven over the weekend was complicated, and never one thing that the squad ought to merely brush off.
“Swings [of performance] are on, however swings should not on from being nearly quickest to being wherever we ended up… eighth,” he stated. “For me, personally, the worst weekend in 13 years.
“Completely baffling. On the identical time unacceptable for all of us. We’re a correct construction, strong crew and that did not seem like a strong crew.
“Inside three consecutive races you are ending a powerful second, and each of them difficult Max, after which every week later you are ending up nowhere. I consider that is simply not on.”
Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Mechanics of the Mercedes AMG crew work on the automobile of Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, on the grid earlier than the race
Trip top too excessive
Mercedes stated there was no easy reply for why it so was badly off the tempo in Brazil. However Wolff did admit it had been far too conservative with its trip top, which might have performed an element.
Within the wake of Hamilton’s disqualification from second place within the US GP for extreme plank put on, the crew seems to have sacrificed greater than it wanted to in Brazil to make sure there have been no legality points this time round.
“We ran the automobile approach too excessive… however that wasn’t the primary motive for an absolute off weekend by way of efficiency,” added Wolff.
“There’s one thing basically mistaken mechanically moderately. It is not a rear wing and it is not the automobile being barely too excessive, as a result of we’re speaking a millimetre or two. That’s efficiency, however that is not the rationalization for a complete off.”
The ache of the Brazilian GP is particularly complicated for Mercedes as a result of it comes only one 12 months after the crew delivered the proper automobile and set-up to permit Russell to win.
Requested if this outing meant the crew had in the end discovered nothing about its automobile in 12 months, Wolff stated: “It’s baffling. From a extremely fast automobile, the perfect balanced and drivers completely satisfied, to a nightmare. How’s that even attainable?
“What’s it? What’s it that is not proper? I would not be shocked that we analyse the automobiles within the subsequent few days and we discover out that there was a mechanical challenge in the way in which we set them up or one thing. However I don’t know what it will likely be.”