Wolff blasts ‘inexcusable’ Mercedes suffering: ‘This car doesn’t deserve to win’
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has described the performance at the São Paulo Grand Prix as an “inexcusable result”.
The Brackley-based outfit showed disappointing pace during the Sprint on Saturday as it struggled with tyre degradation, which indicated a challenging Grand Prix lay in wait.
So it proved as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who started from fifth and sixth respectively, slipped back throughout the race.
Russell was forced to retire late on as power unit oil temperatures soared, while Hamilton was eighth and over one minute down on Red Bull’s race-winner Max Verstappen.
Mercedes’ performance contrasted greatly with its last two outings in the United States and Mexico, where Hamilton took the chequered flag in second place [before being disqualified in Austin].
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Wolff insisted Mercedes took home “an inexcusable result”.
“Horrible. Lewis survived out there but George… I can only feel for two [drivers] driving such a miserable thing.
“It shows how difficult the car is. It’s on a knife’s edge, we’ve got to develop that better for next year because it can’t be that within seven days you’re finishing on the podium, probably one of the two quickest cars and then you’re nowhere.
“George’s issue was PU and we were over all metrics on cooling. It is what it is. I’m not sure if we would have finished with the point or not.”
Mercedes is facing its first winless season since 2012 with just two rounds remaining in the current campaign.
The Silver Arrows prevailed in Brazil last term, which remains its only victory in F1 since the newest aerodynamic regulations were introduced.
“This car doesn’t deserve a win,” Wolff conceded.
“I think we need to push for the last two races and recover.
“I think that’s the most important thing and see what we can do in Las Vegas. It’s a totally different track and [then] Abu Dhabi but the performance [in Brazil] was just lacking.
“Straight-line speed was one issue but probably not the main factor.
“The main factor was that we couldn’t go around the corners with the bigger wing with the base we needed and we were killing the tyres, just eating them up within a few laps.”