Lewis Hamilton on different page to Toto Wolff as Mercedes star makes urgent demands

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and star driver Lewis Hamilton appear to be on different pages when it comes to upgrading the Silver Arrows’ 2022 car. While the seven-time world champion wants to see the challenger immediately amended and upgraded, Wolff does not believe there is much point given the issues remain unresolved. 

Hamilton finished P4 at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend and currently lies in fifth in the Drivers’ Championship after originally eyeing a record eighth world title in 2022. The Brit already faces somewhat of a mountain to climb, as he has accumulated 28 points after three races while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has two wins and 71 points. 

The 37-year-old recently called for the problems with Mercedes’ W13 to be resolved as soon as possible, but it doesn’t appear to be going his way. Hamilton said: “I prefer to remain optimistic. There are still 20 races to go. 

“Realistically, the top teams are developing at the same pace. Whether that will be the case with the new cars? Who knows. But I really hope we can join the fight.

“All the small improvements that we make, they (Ferrari and Red Bull, ed.) will probably also make, so it won’t be easy. And yes, the gap is quite big at the moment but we still have a long way to go.

“There are improvements in performance and we need it now, not in two or three races.”

While Hamilton called for urgent work on the car, Wolff does not think it makes sense to bring in upgrades ahead of next weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix if the root issues are still outstanding. Mercedes have suffered some high-profile struggles through the first three weeks of the season, but the octuple world champions still sit second in the Constructors’ Championship behind Ferrari.

Speculation mounted regarding what upgrades would be brought by the Silver Arrows to maintain their performance after Hamilton and new team-mate George Russell qualified P5 and P6 – with the 24-year-old going on to secure his first podium since joining from Williams. However, Wolff insisted the team simply needed to unlock the car’s ‘aerodynamic potential’ as a priority.

“We’re just learning the car, we’re learning the tyres,” Wolff said. “Nothing we did this weekend has unlocked the aerodynamic potential or has reduced the bouncing, we’re still in the same place. 

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“That’s why it doesn’t make any sense to bring updates because you’re confusing yourself even more. Maybe it’s even the fact that the more downforce you bring, the worse the bouncing gets. So we are still learning.”

Wolff also admitted he was unsure when Mercedes would resolve the issues currently derailing their title bid. Regardless, after reigning world champion Max Verstappen suffered dramatic engine failures in Bahrain and Australia, Russell unbelievably finds himself in P2 in the Drivers’ Standings behind dominant leader Leclerc.

The 22-race F1 2022 campaign – which is expected to return to a record 23 races in the near future once a Russian Grand Prix replacement is found – continues with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on April 24.

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