Toto Wolff admits Mercedes disaster after Lewis Hamilton speaks out

Mercedes had a mixed race on Sunday at Zandvoort, as both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were frustrated.

In a candid admission, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has recognised the lacklustre performance of the entire team at the Dutch Grand Prix, where a rain-soaked race led to challenging outcomes for the Silver Arrows.

The anticipation was high as the Dutch Grand Prix kicked off with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton securing the third and 13th starting positions, respectively. 

However, as rain abruptly descended upon the track during the opening lap, the team’s response failed to match the rapidly changing conditions. 

The decision to stay on slick tires, based on the belief that the rain would be short-lived, soon proved to be an unfortunate misjudgment.

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A 10-minute period of rainfall caught the team off guard, leaving them with slick tires ill-suited for the dampening track. 

While most competitors swiftly transitioned to Intermediates, the Mercedes drivers struggled to maintain their positions. 

Despite the setback, a commendable resurgence allowed both Hamilton and Russell to climb their way into the top 10, benefiting from a late red flag caused by renewed rain.

The race’s outcome, however, was a mixed bag for the team. 

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Lewis Hamilton managed to secure a sixth-place finish, showcasing his skill in navigating the treacherous conditions. 

On the other hand, George Russell’s fate took a turn for the worse. 

A puncture following contact with Lando Norris dropped him to the back of the pack, leaving him with a disappointing result. 

This race marked Mercedes’ acquisition of only one podium in the last five races, highlighting the challenges they’ve faced recently.

Delving into the reasons behind the team’s struggle, Toto Wolff opened up in an interview with Sky Sports F1, saying, “We will review thoroughly and the situation is never [the fault] of one person or one department. 

“It is the communication between the drivers, the pit-wall, strategy and all of us taking decisions. 

“That was absolutely subpar from all of us, and that includes me.” 

He further stressed the significance of recognising shortcomings, stating, “It is good when it hurts, and when it stings, it sticks. 

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“I’d rather have good pace, a fast race car and a mediocre result, even if it hurts.”

Wolff’s analysis also highlighted missed opportunities. “We saw at the end on the Intermediates, George had [race-winner Max Verstappen’s] pace, and Lewis was very strong behind [Carlos] Sainz. 

“We could have been much further ahead, but it is bittersweet because the result is just really bad, and it could have been good, but that doesn’t count.”