Toto Wolff has bad news for Lewis Hamilton after ‘bruising’

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished in seventh and eighth as Mercedes continued to struggle in Austria.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has expressed his bewilderment over the team’s lack of pace during the Austrian Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished a disappointing seventh and eighth respectively. 

The race proved to be one to forget for the Silver Arrows, as Max Verstappen secured his seventh victory of the season.

Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez claimed the remaining podium spots, while Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, and Lando Norris finished ahead of the Mercedes duo. 

In the aftermath of the race, Wolff admitted that he had no explanation for their struggles on track.

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“The car had no pace today,” Wolff told Sky Sports. 

“It’s a bruising day, I would say, because we had such a good upward trend, and then you have to take such a day. 

“There was no pace, and no inkling why yet.”

Wolff highlighted the lack of grip as a significant factor in their underperformance.

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He stated, “I think the moment you slide those tires, be it on braking or through the corners, you just have no grip, and this is what happened [for Hamilton].”

During the race, numerous penalties were handed out for exceeding track limits, including one for Hamilton. Wolff believes that changes need to be made to avoid similar situations in the future.

“The stewards are doing their job,” he explained. 

“It’s what the rule says. 

“I think we’ve either got to go back to the sausage kerb and need to take into consideration that teams and drivers shouldn’t complain if they break their cars because that’s clear. 

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“Or you’ve just got to let everybody go where they want. That’s the other solution, like they do in some of the races in the United States.”

The Austrian Grand Prix showcased the challenges faced by Mercedes as they struggled to find their usual performance levels. 

After a promising upward trajectory, this setback highlights the need for the team to analyse and address the issues that hampered their performance.