Toto Wolff makes excuse for Lewis Hamilton struggling in Bahrain test

Lewis Hamilton looked to be struggling in the W14 on Friday morning.

Mercedes’ pre-season testing in Bahrain has been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with there being positives and negatives to draw from results.

On the positive side, the W14 does not appear to be porpoising at all, which will come as good news for the team considering the struggled so badly with the bouncing last season.

The W14 has also been reliable, with both Thursday and Friday’s testing sessions being completed without any major reliability issues.

With regards to lap times, Hamilton and Russell have not really been able to lay a glove on Max Verstappen and the two Ferrari drivers, but this could all be down to the type of tests they are running comparted to their rivals.

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While Lewis Hamilton looked comfortable in the car on Thursday, Friday’s tests told a different story as the Brit experienced multiple snaps of oversteer when trying at accelerate out of corners.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has explained that the Silver Arrows are not overly concerned by this problem, putting it down to the setup and the conditions in Bahrain.

“The car is out of balance this morning and you can see that, when driving, it’s leaving black marks of acceleration,” He told F1TV.

“It’s hot and we just didn’t find the right setup for these conditions, which I guess is part of the learning with a new car.

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“It’s not because the driver is over-driving the tyres or pushing, it’s the car that doesn’t give you enough grip from the rear. This is something we need to sort out over the course of today.”

Mercedes have been accused of sandbagging already this pre-season, with many suggesting that the lap times being generated by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell do not reflect the true capability of the W14.

These suggestions are backed up by Wolff’s recent quotes, with the Austrian claiming that Mercedes have a car this year which is more than capable of winning races and championships, despite its inability to match Red Bull and Ferrari so far in testing.