Mercedes boss Toto Wolff shares major concerns over Lewis Hamilton amid Brit’s car issues
Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Toto Wolff has confirmed Mercedes may need to go back to the drawing board to get on top of their bouncing issues as he raises fears ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have complained of suffering inside the cockpit due to bouncing.
Speaking moments before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Austrian said the moment had come to accept it was now a ‘real issue’. He told Sky Sports F1: “I don’t think you can suck it up because it’s just really bad for the back. I’m not even sure we can go full length with Lewis.
“It’s based on physical pain. It’s really compressing the spine.” He added: “I think that most of the drivers have now come to the conclusion that it’s really bad.
“The regulations will follow for many years. It’s the moment now to say that is a real issue and what can we do to lift everybody up.” It comes after Lewis Hamilton has complained of back pain throughout the weekend in Baku.
The seven-time champion said the bouncing was the worst part of driving the car and said his back was in a ‘real mess’.
After qualifying, Hamiton said: “It is a phenomenon we just cannot get our heads around. It is the same thing underneath the car that keeps on coming back. Honestly, on Friday we had so much bottoming I could not finish my long runs because my back was in a real mess.
“Thank god for Angela [Cullen] who gave me physio and acupuncture and I was still in quite a bit of pain on Saturday morning. Now we don’t have it as bad at the end of the straight but it is the corners where you are trying to keep it out of the wall but I am hoping on heavy fuel it will be better.”
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Mercedes believed they had got on top of their issues in Barcelona as Hamilton enjoyed race pace on par with the leaders. However, the team’s bouncing issues came back in Monaco which affected their performance all weekend.
On Friday, Hamilton had predicted the car could struggle to match their pace from Spain. Wolff’s admission comes just a day after amon Hill urged the team to start again and focus on next season.
The 1996 champion explained: “They’re going to have to look forward further down the line whether they can do a major revamp of the car and get it into the winning category for the end of the season. I think it is looking more like they have to sort out what it is they’ve done wrong now, get a good handle on it from the middle of the season and prepare for next year.
“I’m not saying they can’t win races but as far as the title goes they’re a long way off.”
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