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Friday, April 12, 2024

Wolff needs to ‘punch himself on the nostril’ after Mercedes F1 Australian GP DNFs

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Lewis Hamilton parked up with an influence unit failure, the reason for which is but to be decided, on lap 15 of a race received by Carlos Sainz after Max Verstappen retired with an early brake hearth.

In the meantime, George Russell worn out two laps from the flag – believing his automotive to be unsettled by Fernando Alonso instantly forward. The Spaniard was finally penalised by 20 seconds for altering his driving model and slowing, which led to Russell quickly closing into his soiled air.

This got here on high of Hamilton chasing dramatic set-up adjustments to tame dealing with instability after he and Russell ran off observe in follow. Plus, Hamilton was eradicated in Q2. The pair finally lined up on the grid in seventh and eleventh.

Given the Melbourne show throughout which Mercedes “massively lacked tempo”, Wolff reckoned he needed to ‘punch himself on the nostril’.

The Mercedes motorsport boss mentioned: “There have been occasions within the race the place we massively lacked tempo. After which there have been occasions on the finish if you evaluate like for like, we have been doing OK. Nonetheless not the place we need to be.

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“However you might see within the second stint, Fernando on the medium [tyre], we could not come anyplace shut. The lap occasions seemed like a second off the McLaren’s.

“Then out of the blue the final [stint], after we went for it, not worrying an excessive amount of, the lap occasions have been aggressive. Not [a match for] Sainz. However it was significantly better.”

Toto Wolff, Workforce Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG F1 Workforce

Photograph by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Wolff additionally cited Mercedes, which had initially occupied first and second in final 12 months’s Australian GP, having fallen behind early 2023 struggler McLaren and Ferrari.

The Austrian continued: “So clearly, we began the season within the perception that this automotive is best than it was final 12 months.

“Then you definately have a look at final 12 months and have a look at these guys – Leclerc crashed out and Sainz was fourth and obtained relegated to exterior of the highest 10 due to a penalty. [Now], they’re 40s forward of us.

“So, clearly on one aspect, I need to punch myself on the nostril. However on the opposite aspect, it’s also a sworn statement of that if you get issues proper, you possibly can flip it round fairly shortly and also you simply obtained to proceed to imagine.

“However in the meanwhile it is extremely, a really robust time.”

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Summarising the weekend, Wolff reckoned it was onerous to instantly see any mild on the finish of the tunnel: “Powerful to take. Tremendous robust.

“I might be mendacity if I might say at any second, I really feel Positive concerning the state of affairs and optimistic.

“However you simply want to beat the damaging ideas and say we’ll flip this round.

“However right this moment it feels very, very, very brutal.”

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