Mercedes knew cooling was its "Achilles heel"

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff says it was "painful" to see the cars of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton handicapped by cooling issues in the Austrian GP.

Mercedes knew cooling was its "Achilles heel"

The W10s were running the maximum available cooling set-up in Austria, and yet were still forced to run with restricted power, while both drivers compromised their laptimes with extensive lift and coast running as they attempted to cool their power units.

They eventually finished third and fifth, with Hamilton further compromised by wing damage that led to an extended pitstop.

Read Also:

Wolff said that the unusually high ambient of 34-35C combined with the 660m altitude of the Red Bull Ring to tip the power unit over the edge. He acknowledged that controlling temperatures had been an issue all year.

"We knew that it was our Achilles heel, and we were carrying the problem since the beginning of the season," said Wolff.

"We tried to work on mitigating the performance loss, but at the end, it was really painful to watch, cruising and not being able to defend or attack."

Asked by Motorsport.com if there was any margin, he said: "We were right on the limit, we couldn't do anything any more. It was already very damaging for performance, what we did. There was no step left any more.

"The next step would have been to remove all the bodywork. So that was not really an option, because the sponsors wouldn't have liked it!

"I think when you look at the positives we had the car pace, we were running the engine way turned down, lifting and coasting for up to 400 metres, that's almost having no throttle rolling downwards.

"And still able to pull in some decent lap times. I think we would have a chance to fight for the win, but we were limited by the cooling problems.

"I would have hoped for a little bit of a better result. When we were running second and third after Max's mishap at the start, that would have been my best case scenario. So coming in third and fifth is maybe a little worse, so around P2, P4 was what I expected."

Wolff conceded that with the current heatwave in Europe the team has to sort the cooling issues in the coming weeks.

"First of all I'm really hoping for the typical English weather in Silverstone, so we can gain a little bit of time to sort our problems out.

"But then there is no question, there is no alternative than to fix our problems for a the coming hot European races, Hockenheim and Budapest. The question is not how or if, but we will react. There is no other option."

shares
comments
Red Bull doesn't understand why it was so quick in Austria

Previous article

Red Bull doesn't understand why it was so quick in Austria

Next article

The other Ferrari driver troubling a world champion

The other Ferrari driver troubling a world champion
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021