Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has rarely called out his team after a performance – the drivers maybe in the Rosberg vs Hamilton days- but not the team.
So it’s noteworthy that he has called on his team to regain focus and resolve the errors that hampered their Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
The reigning constructors’ champions went into the weekend as one of the favourites, with the German marque and Lewis Hamilton having won three of the four Canadian Grands Prix in the hybrid era.
However, the team were hampered by various setbacks which made their weekend even harder.
Prior to the practice sessions, a postponement of the delivery of the latest Mercedes power units due to a quality issue meant they had to continue with existing parts.
In qualifying, Hamilton was unable to complete a clean lap and could only start the race in fourth place, marking only the second time he has been out-qualified by a team-mate in Montreal.
During the race, any attempts of trying to ‘overcut’ the Red Bulls in the pit stops were scuppered by an early pit stop for the Briton.
The Mercedes was suffering from a cooling issue, which meant Mercedes brought him into the pits at the earliest opportunity to carry out work to improve the problem.
He rejoined behind both Red Bulls and could only keep ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, meaning he finished in fifth place and lost the championship lead to race-winner Sebastian Vettel.
Valtteri Bottas qualified in second place, but he was unable to mount any serious threat to Vettel’s lead during the race.
Speaking after the race, Toto Wolff disappointed that their weekend became one of “damage limitation” and called on the Mercedes team to “wake up” and maximise future opportunities.
“Not at all. It is a s*** result for us,” said Wolff to Austrian TV station ORF. “I have to put it like that. It is a strong track for us, but all weekend long we did little mistakes, from the beginning on.
“The only feeling I have is that we have to wake up.
“We fall behind in every aspect. This is a track where we should have maximised points. It was not about performing damage limitation.”
Wolff was then asked if there would be consequences for failing to achieve a better result.
“That’s necessary…We will look at that internally,” he replied.
The upgrades that were due for the Canadian Grand Prix are now expected at the next round, the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard.
Wolff added that he has no concerns about the reliability of the Mercedes team over the rest of the season.
“We went to Montreal expecting our car to be really strong and we are leaving Montreal seeing that we haven’t been where we thought we should be,” said Wolff.
“You need to find the right balance between pushing the development very hard and at the same time keeping reliability.
“This team has been extremely strong in the past at keeping reliability at a high level. That is not something that worries me.
“It is more that we have seen Ferrari has had the stronger car here. Stronger in qualifying, stronger in the race. At no point did we have a real chance of fighting for the win.”
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