Singapore flop a blessing in disguise, says Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team's baffling slump at the Singapore Grand Prix was a blessing in disguise, as it highlighted a wrong set-up path it was on.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg endured Mercedes' least competitive outing of the season that weekend, as they struggled to get their tyres switched on around the Marina Bay circuit.

Such was their dip in form that the performance even prompted wild conspiracy theories that the team had been hobbled as a way of spicing up the show, or even as punishment for it deciding not to give Red Bull engines.

But looking back at what really happened that weekend, Wolff says that it came down to a simple set-up choices for the street circuit – which had come up the year before but been disguised by its 2014 advantage.

And Wolff added that the lessons learned actually made the team more competitive for subsequent races – as it remained undefeated for the remainder of the campaign.

"We probably didn't realise in 2014 that we didn't have the gap in Singapore that we enjoyed on some of the other weekends," Wolff told Motorsport.com.

"Because the car/engine combination was just very dominant [that year], it just kind of disguised the problem.

"When we hit the track in Singapore, the package of some of our competitors, especially Ferrari and Red Bull, was just much more competitive.

"Afterwards we realised how we were setting up the car from various matrices, it needed to be done in a different way.

"And the lessons we got from Singapore, for that very specific track, translated into a better performance for some of the more typical tracks."

Conspiracy rubbish

Although Wolff said in Singapore that the possibility of a tyre conspiracy had crossed his mind, he made it clear that he never truly believed there was anything suspicious going on.

"No. Because the conspiracy theorists, there are many around in F1 - paranoid theorists," he said.

"And, as a matter of fact, it was logistically simply not possible that Pirelli would do that. I have known the group of people for 10 years or more, and we have a trusting positive relationship.

"There is no way that they would have done that, and no way they could have done it – because those tyres were put on a boat months before. So it was clear that that was rubbish."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news
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