Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Mercedes stars Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been promised that there will be major modifications to their car ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix following a dour performance in Miami on Sunday.
The Silver Arrow drivers came fifth and sixth respectively as they finished over 18 seconds behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who cruised to victory in the United States. Mercedes’ season has been less than satisfactory having won the last eight Drivers Championship titles available, and that will seriously impact their hopes of winning a ninth in a row.
But after reports claimed that Mercedes would introduce some new additions to the floor of the car to avoid the car porpoising, Toto Wolff agreed they had to do so in time for the race in Barcelona. “We will carry out a few experiments on the floor for this. In Barcelona, we will then have major modifications to the underbody, which will hopefully already be a solution,” said Wolff, quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
The Austrian admitted that their performance simply was not good enough in the inaugural Miami Grand Prix. “George [Russell] stayed out for a long time as we were betting on a Safety Car for him and that materialised, coming from nowhere, and it went against Lewis [Hamilton],” Wolff said to Sky Sports.
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“We lost the position there but at the end of the day, there is no ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy’ at the moment. It’s just a bit dull, as we are the third quickest on the road – we’re in no man’s land. We had a good Friday; we need to dissect why that was and then come back.”
The result leaves Russell and Hamilton 45 and 68 points respectively behind current Championship leader Charles Leclerc after just five races. And Wolff conceded that his team have been nowhere near good enough this campaign, but vowed to look at the analytics to make a return to the top of the standings.
“This is where we are,” Wolff continued. “We are not as quick in qualifying and we go back to where we are, and that is behind the Red Bulls and Ferraris. We will be looking at all the data we have, that we have generated, and try to find out [why].
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“We had really good sessions on Friday with quick laps, and we need to dissect why that is, because we are not on top of it at the moment.”
The Spanish Grand Prix takes place on May 22 at Circuit-de Barcelona-Catalunya. And Hamilton will look to take the crown at the track he has earned top spot at for the last five years.
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