Toto Wolff says Hamilton is a “DNF away” from being “in the hunt again”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reveals Lewis Hamilton lost 30 downforce points after his car sustained damage at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton finished the Austrian Grand Prix in P4 and he now sits 32 points behind race winner Max Verstappen in the championship standings.

However, Lewis probably would have finished second if it wasn’t for damage that his car sustained when he went wide over a sausage kerb.

Toto Wolff reveals the damage lost the Briton 30 points of downforce.

“We have calculated that we lost about 30 points, but that isn’t a number that is not checked yet,” the Austrian said after the race.

“But there was quite a loss in performance, and that meant he was pushing the tyres in a direction that wouldn’t have made it to the end probably.

“So we wanted to evaluate what his performance really was after the damage, and whether it was possible that Valtteri could have protected against Lando, but that wasn’t possible.

“He was also fair towards Valtteri to do his own race, and this is when we decided to switch, obviously understanding that we would lose P3 to McLaren.”

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When asked Wolff said it was “very difficult to say” how much time the downforce loss cost Lewis over a lap.

“It’s just a first guess on what we see on the sensors. That also, you can’t really translate that onto lap time.”

Ultimately Wolff said the points deficit Hamilton now has to Verstappen is not insurmountable, in fact, “the hunt” is just a Verstappen “DNF away”.

“Of course, losing every point is a blow, and he lost, what was it, six points compared to finishing second. Adding that all up is obviously making the whole momentum going in the wrong direction.

“But this is so far from over. He’s 32 points behind Max. That’s a DNF away, and he’s in the hunt again.

“If we look at Baku and the potential, and we look at the other races, overall, we just need to up our game, make less mistakes, and continue to understand the car better.

“Then we’re still massively in the hunt,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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