Toto Wolff, the team manager for Mercedes, said that their vehicle was “undriveable” and that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton “deserves better from us” after the British driver could only manage a 13th-place finish in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. At the conclusion of the race, Wolff apologized to Hamilton over the team radio. After a strong start, teammate George Russell did manage to place fourth.
A “weekend to forget,” according to Hamilton, who claimed that he “simply wasn’t quick enough to overtake” at Imola. To make matters worse, the Red Bull driven by race winner Max Verstappen passed him on the track. He also said once more that he was not longer competing for the drivers’ championship, saying: “I am undoubtedly out of the championship. There is no doubt regarding that.”
Hamilton acknowledged that fellow Briton Russell’s progress through the field after starting 11th was a positive for the squad, but he apologized for not also scoring. Everyone is head down, doing their best, and everyone is feeling it, he continued. “No one is giving up; everyone is just striving to advance as quickly as they can.”
The first Miami Grand Prix will take place in the United States from May 6–8. In the turbo hybrid era, Mercedes has dominated the constructors’ championship and will win a historic eighth straight title in 2021. However, this season’s rule revisions did not favor them, since both vehicles suffered from substantial “porpoising,” a condition brought on by a rise in downforce followed by an abrupt fall.
Wolff remarked, “You see the bouncing on the main straight; I marvel at times how the two of them even keep the vehicle on the track.” “Both drivers are exerting every effort to outperform the vehicle. We have already witnessed George’s remarkable performance in the race, when he had a flawless start and then handled a vehicle that wasn’t tuned properly.
Lewis was only confined to the rear. Hamilton’s weekend got off to a rough start as he crashed out of Q2 on Friday’s qualifying session, forcing him to settle for 13th on the starting line for the season’s opening sprint race. Then, during Saturday’s 21-lap race, he lost a position, moving farther down the lineup for Sunday’s grand prix. After being caught up in a stream of slower vehicles, Hamilton finally crossed the line.
Wolff apologized to him for the driving he had to do today. I am aware that it was impossible to drive. This race was horrible. We shall overcome this. In his post-race interview, the Mercedes team principal also admitted that Hamilton and Russell’s abilities did not warrant their current circumstances. “We have two of the top three drivers, and they should have a vehicle and powertrain that will allow them to compete at the front rather than getting lapped,” he added.
Both of them do not deserve that. ” Russell has performed better so far this season while racing for Mercedes, finishing in the top five in each of the first four events, including a podium result in the Australian Grand Prix. In the drivers’ championship, he has a 21-point lead over Hamilton. We are making the most of it in terms of results, added Russell. “It gives the squad and I faith that as the car becomes better, we will score more goals.
But if we don’t increase the speed of the automobile, we won’t be able to maintain these levels of performance. The 24-year-old former Williams driver, who will race for the Silver Arrows in place of Valtteri Bottas in 2022, said that he and Hamilton were “equally battling” with their respective vehicles. Added him: “I anticipate [Hamilton] to make a great recovery, and I find inspiration in the way he pushes and inspires the squad. Given what he is capable of, I am not becoming used to this situation.”