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
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022