The Imola Sprint represented a new lower point for Mercedes in the current crisis season. In the end, both Silver Arrows lost in the top ten. Team boss Toto Wolff does not want to describe the radical concept of the vehicle as a failure. Engineers still believe in the success of the W13.
The scene after Imola’s qualification was indicative of the current situation at the Mercedes camp. Television cameras captured team boss Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton having an exciting discussion in the garage. Some people interpreted the war of words as a tangible argument. But Wolff denied that the mood is slowly changing.
“That was the expression of our frustration at that moment,” the Austrian denied. “We were both upset that our car did not show more pace on a lap. It makes no sense to blame anyone. But of course there is pressure on the system. Now we have to do everything we can to dig our way out of this hole. . “
In Imola, pilots fought on several fronts. Despite the diet, the car is still ten pounds above the minimum weight. The jump is even tougher in the long run than in previous races, forcing engineers to climb to the height of the car. This comes at the expense of maximum speed and reverse force. In addition, drivers have a lot of difficulty inserting tires into the work window.
Mercedes points series at risk
In fact, the engineers had hoped that after disappointing 11th and 13th places in qualifying, the sprint would bring them back on the field. With more fuel on board in the long run, the Silver Arrow was always much more competitive in the first races than when chasing time on a fast lap. But in Imola, not much progress was made even in the Mini-Grand-Prix over 21 years old.
At first, both pilots even lagged behind due to low tire temperatures. In the end, George Russell crossed the finish line in eleventh place, where he had even started. Lewis Hamilton lost a position overall. The points are far from 14th place on Sunday. “The difference in pace was not big enough today. We could not overtake the other cars in midfield,” Wolff regretted.
Hamilton has already given up the fight for the world title. And Toto Wolff, who still sets Melbourne title chances at 20 per cent, now appears to be slowly canceling his ninth consecutive championship. “After four races we are not even close to the cars in front. It would be unrealistic now to think we could fight for the championship.”
Turn to Barcelona?
Now, of course, all Silver Arrow fans are wondering when Mercedes will finally start arriving. So far, improvements have included only minor retouches in the W13. However, the engineers are already working on a larger expansion phase, which, according to information from auto motor und sport, will be started in Barcelona.
“We know the direction we have to go. But we have not yet found the key. We have to close the gap little by little. After all it is all physics,” Wolff said. Some experts believe that the large area of the bare bottom is responsible for the jump problem. With competition, wider arms can offer more stability.
Wolff did not want to confirm this thesis. Just so: “Everything good and bad happens at the bottom. We can not drive the car in the area for which it was developed. But we have ideas that we want to try and that will find their way to “I will not say that our concept is completely wrong. We must keep the good and eliminate the bad.”
According to Wolff, there is still a long way to go to repay W13 and develop it in a whole new direction: “Before making such a decision, we must exhaust all the possibilities offered by science. “Strong faith is there that we can turn things around again.”