Toto Wolff says the Mercedes is “clearly not driveable” at Imola

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

After the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix FP1, Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are reporting “that there’s literally zero grip”.

Mercedes has had a difficult Emilia Romagna Grand Prix first free practice, with both of their drivers finishing the session several seconds behind Ferrari.

“The feedback that we’re getting from Lewis and George is that there’s literally zero grip and that these gaps point to the tyres,” team boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports F1 after FP1.

“That is not the worst. We had George bouncing so much that he broke the stay on the floor.”

The Austrian then revealed that both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have to lift on the straights due to heavy porpoising.

“You can’t drive, you have to lift on the straight. They are trained. I have never experienced in my life bouncing like this, but [the car’s] clearly not drivable.”

If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!

However, Wolff is optimistic that the Mercedes W13 could still be a championship contender.

“I think when you’re optimistic, and I’m rarely optimistic in my assessments, if we are able to unlock the potential in the car, I think we can fight for this championship.

“But, at the moment, when you see the gaps – particularly today – it seems a totally unrealistic endeavour. But we just keep continuing and trying to understand.

“I like getting it wrong, because that means you learn so much more. Obviously, it’s painful whilst you’re in the moment.

“Certainly, when I see our car, pounding around five seconds off the pace, you want to strangle yourself.

“But, as a matter of fact, I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy it being bad because, over the long run in these regulations, we’re gonna be good.”

However, considering it is a Sprint Qualifying weekend, there’s not much the team can do, as Qualifying is scheduled just a few hours after FP1.

“Well, considering our situation and where we are with the car, that makes it worse, there’s nothing you can really try.

“You can’t bring any upgrades because [the free practice time is] too short. We’ve taken some weight out now, [but] we don’t know whether taking the weight out actually increases the porpoising.

“So I mean, it’s literally exploring on the job. Not at all how we’ve done F1 before, but [it’s] our own doing,” Wolff concluded.

Follow us on Twitter @SilverArrowsNet and like us on Facebook!

Comments are closed.