Toto Wolff: “The upgrade is working”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ new floor “is working”, and explains strategy decisions at the United States Grand Prix had cost Lewis Hamilton a likely race win.

At the United States Grand Prix, Mercedes hoped to put Lewis Hamilton on a one stop strategy, but it ultimately did not work, as the tyres could not last as long as was required in the first stint.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the team should have just covered Max Verstappen.

“No, the hindsight is a tough thing because you can see if we covered Max we had the quicker car at that stage but we didn’t know,” the Austrian said.

“Dragging out to a one-stop was a valid thing at that stage but we lost so much time over two laps. That’s what lost the race.

“We were on Lap 19 or 20 and we needed to extend it until Lap 23 to make the one-stop stick.

“He stops, Max stops for a clear two-stop and we knew we just needed four more laps to go with a one-stop. He was 20 seconds behind us and then the tyre just dropped and we lost the gap.

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“Everything went a little bit against us. Tough fighting with Ricciardo who came out on the soft, quickest lap and feisty Norris. That is how it goes.

“That lap was two seconds slower than the previous one and the one after and then you expect defending, and with Ricciardo it was 1.5s. You know fair doos.”

This weekend Mercedes introduced a new upgraded floor, and Toto says it is working as expected.

“The upgrade is working. Super step which was a direction that we were hoping that would actually make it stick more, and it does.

“And directionally I think a very good sign,” the Austrian concluded.

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