Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton not ‘looking over the fence’ at Ferrari F1 form

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Ferrari appears to have eliminated the poor pitstops and questionable strategy calls that have dogged recent seasons. Combined with a seemingly successful focus on improving race pace for 2024, the Scuderia has run Red Bull closest before scoring a 1-2 in the Australian Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, Mercedes is entering its third year of ground-effect struggle. The W15 has so far proved inconsistent, like its predecessors, with the team’s Melbourne outing ending in a double retirement – a power unit failure claimed Hamilton before George Russell‘s late smash.

Although Hamilton will depart the Silver Arrows team at the end of the season to partner Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, Mercedes motorsport Toto Wolff says the seven-time F1 world champion is not ‘looking over the fence’ to see how well his future employer is now faring.

Asked how his driver pairing was coping with Mercedes’ ongoing plight, Wolff said both were “super” and that Hamilton was “as good as you can be” given the trying circumstances.

“I think the drivers are super in this whole setup because Lewis is as good as you can be,” said Wolff.

“He’s in a situation obviously where, on one side, it’s super frustrating to see that we are not getting it. On the other side, look over the fence. It’s pretty good what’s happening there. But that is not his main priority today.

“George is just a fighter and he’s sticking in, and he knows that’s his place. So, we’ve got to sort this out.”

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Wolff also reckoned: “You always need to look at us like I need to look at myself. What is it? Why is it that we can’t get there?

“We’re humans. The data doesn’t take decisions. Humans do. So, we’re not stopping. I’m not sitting here and dwelling. But on the contrary, I’m thinking of what else is it that we need to do and how can we push.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Shameem Fahath

The Austrian added that he was monitoring how he communicated given the pressure Mercedes is under.

“As an Austrian, we very much wear our heart on our sleeve, and we see things very direct. “An Austrian says, ‘That’s really shit’. A British person would say, ‘That’s interesting’.

“So, I had to adapt the way I communicate in order to not create even more pressure in the team because it would break us.

“It’s not because of a lack of trying that we are not competitive. So, I’d rather be helpful and encouraging and say, ‘That’s interesting’.”

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