Mercedes "in the dark" over Hamilton's car struggles

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says that the team is "in the dark" after Lewis Hamilton had a frustrating FP2 session at the Styrian GP in which the world champion's car was "all over the place."

Mercedes "in the dark" over Hamilton's car struggles
Listen to this article

Hamilton finished the session in sixth position, over 0.6s slower than his teammate and Austrian GP winner Valtteri Bottas, who was just edged out of top spot by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The session was approached differently by teams because rain is expected to wash out Saturday's action, and if qualifying can't then be held on Sunday morning, the grid will be formed with FP2 results.

Wolff said that the team hadn't gone for the full qualifying mode with its power unit, but turned the engine up more than it normally would on a Friday.

"It wasn't full attack, but it wasn't half attack either," Wolff told ORF. "We already added a little bit more. Let's say, we drove on a performance level that we normally don't drive on Friday.

"We are a bit in the dark, especially with Lewis' time. There's a problem with the car.

"At the moment we don't know. The car is just all over the place in the slow and medium fast corners. But we have data channels for everything, and you have to take your time to look at that."

Read Also:

Asked what the team had up its sleeve for qualifying, Wolff said: "Not so much anymore. Compared to last week Verstappen has improved, and especially the Racing Points have really improved.

"Everyone else is slower, just like us. But there is a lot of thinking and data to collect to see where the performance is."

Hamilton said he had no explanation for his struggles in the afternoon session.

"That I don't know, I can't really say anything," said the world champion. "It felt relatively normal, but it was quite far off, so there's a lot of work that needs to go on in the background to try and figure out why.

"I was feeling good in practice one and the start of P2 felt pretty good, and then it just started to drop off. Others out there are quick, and Valtteri's obviously got good pace. Hopefully tomorrow it will be a bit better."

Regarding FP2 potentially forming the grid, he said: "It will suck if we don't get to qualify, because it wasn't great, I'll be starting further back than even last week, so it will definitely make it challenging. I'm trying to do the dry dance, if there's a dry dance to make sure there's no frigging rain for Sunday."

Hamilton agreed that the field is closer than last weekend.

"It seems so, but you never know what's happening in practice. It does seem that the others are getting pretty quick, or we have slowed down, one of the two.

"As I said we've just got to do some work. I hope we can drive when it's raining, it's fun out there, so hopefully we can still drive in the rain."

shares
comments

Related video

Ricciardo hit knee against steering column in FP2 crash
Previous article

Ricciardo hit knee against steering column in FP2 crash

Next article

Explained: Ferrari’s fast-tracked F1 upgrade package

Explained: Ferrari’s fast-tracked F1 upgrade package
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Prime

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Prime

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Prime

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing.

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023