“Train issues” at Mercedes: asked Toto Wolff as crisis manager

Updated on 27/4/2022 at 16:14

  • Mercedes has to deal with many problems and construction sites in Formula 1.
  • Several questions remain unanswered: When do you get control of the car? How long will Lewis Hamilton be silent?
  • Team manager Toto Wolff remains calm despite the upcoming “coaching question”.

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The one who has the damage does not have to worry about the ridicule. Even with Lewis Hamilton, the others took over. For the seven-time world champion not only finished 13th in the fourth race of the season in Imola, but was even overtaken by world champion Max Verstappen. That Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell proved in fourth place that anything is possible with Silver Arrow did not make it better for Hamilton.

“She (Mercedes, ed.anm ..) has been slow all year, so it’s not really a surprise, “Verstappen said of patching up his World Cup rival from last year. Red Bulls motorsport consultant Helmut Marko could not resist a slap either. He was asked by Sky Sports what he thinks about how Hamilton felt when he was overtaken by the Dutchman: “Maybe he thinks he should have stopped last year,” Marko said with a laugh.

Scratches to the Hamilton image

Hamilton will not (yet) think about stopping, but the 37-year-old sizzles, which, for example, could be clearly seen in Imola during an emotional conversation with team manager Toto Wolff. It’s a brand new construction site for Mercedes: Hamilton’s cemented role as number one is crumbling. Hamilton is no longer recognizable, wrote the Italian “Tuttosport”, “Hamilton’s image and prestige have suffered major scratches,” said “Marca” from Spain. Hamilton has officially ticked off the title fight after Imola. Nevertheless, further development remains explosive.

Because the 37-year-old is only overall in seventh place with 28 points, Russell, who has always finished in the top five, is number four with 49 points. Ex-Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg spoke on Sky from the sewing box. “Lewis hates being behind his teammate,” Rosberg said. “Even if you’re below him on the rankings, he really hates being behind his teammate.” The German believes it will increase tension, “especially in the engineering room, where Lewis will put more and more pressure on it. It will be interesting to see how the situation develops.”

Hamilton’s role in Imola

For it is already interesting that Wolff is trying to protect Hamilton by blaming himself or Mercedes for the ex-champion’s debacle. But according to Rosberg, Hamilton “definitely played a big role in this poor result this weekend”.

Not only that, of course, because the newly developed car is about a second slower than the competitors’ cars. “The car is fast and good in theory, but we can not put that into practice. We can not drive it in the area where we need it,” Wolff explained.

In addition to the Mercedes engine, which is no longer as superior to the previous year, the so-called studs – an uncontrolled jump of the car on straight – are mentioned as the main problem with the Mercedes. After the race, riders need an osteopath to get everything back in order, Wolff said. Russell confirmed it in Imola: “The jumper really takes your breath away. I’ve never experienced it so extremely,” said the 24-year-old who struggled with his back. “We will definitely solve the problem, but it just can not be done overnight,” Wolff explained.

Evil leaps

Jumping is a phenomenon in the new cars, it is a result of various factors such as the mechanical setup and the aerodynamics. Due to instabilities such as bumps, the suction cup effect of the cars breaks down and then immediately builds up again, which happens quickly one after the other. Mercedes has to fight more than the competition because the W13 takes the jump into the curves. Russell believes, “If we get this under control, then 90 percent of our problems will be solved.” But Mercedes has not found the knot breaker yet, and what the team has least of all is time.

And that is why the “coaching question” is of course asked in Formula 1 at some point. Wolff knows that after eight constructor titles in a row, the Silver Arrows’ claims are different than just being the third force behind Red Bull Racing and Ferrari by a clear margin.

“We are certainly not fast enough. You have to be able to endure it and handle it, but at the same time channel all your energy in the right way. I try to do that as well as possible,” Wolff said on RTL / ntv. One should always ask oneself, Wolff says: “Motivation, energy level, is it still fun?” The answer: “I’m having fun, I’m having fun with the twist, now let’s see if we can do it.” His shoulders are “wide enough for the coaching question,” he clarified.

Rosberg defends Wolff

Rosberg jumps to the side of his ex-boss. “Toto is one of the best team managers we’ve ever seen in the sport,” Rosberg told Sky Sports F1. “He’s very, very strong at keeping people together and motivating them. Of course he sometimes has outbursts of anger, as we’ve seen, but I still think he’s the right man to lead a team like this in a difficult environment like this. keep the situation going. ” For one thing is clear in the light of the many construction sites: the ridicule of the others is the least of Mercedes’ problems at the moment.

Sources used:

  • TV broadcast Sky / RTL
  • press conferences

The hunt for world champion Max Verstappen begins in Bahrain on March 20. Following the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix, the racing calendar includes 22 world championship races, as in the previous year. Ten teams compete under changed rules. The two German drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher are under particular pressure.

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