Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mercedes must group together

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)

Mercedes AMG F1 Team boss Toto Wolff have encouraged his outfit to group together for the good of the whole organisation and not for the driver's to be the only one's to work together. The Austrian, who saw his driver's finish 1-2 in today's Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring wants both sets of engineers to work together as he not tolerate any 'sandbagging' from the team as they aim for their first Driver's and Constructor's champion win since Mercedes returned to Formula One as a works team in 2010.

Wolff's comments come amid conspiracy theories among some fan's on Twitter that during the Austrian Grand Prix the Brackley based outfit had been favoring Rosberg over Hamilton when it came to the pair's pit-stop's.

Mercedes were extremely quick to deny this claim and said the reason for Hamilton's poor stop during the race was the fact that he slightly overshot his pit box meaning that his mechanics had to shuffle forward in order to service Hamilton's W05 which lost the 2008 champion valuable time in the pit-lane. 

Wolff was also reportedly unhappy that the winning margin had been reduced with Rosberg beating Hamilton across the line by 1.9s while Williams Martini Racing's Valtteri Bottas was only 8.1s behind Hamilton at the finish, this compares to a margin of 9.2s between Rosberg and Hamilton when the pair finished 1-2 in Monaco with Daniel Ricciardo finishing the Monaco Grand Prix 9.6s behind the Silver Arrows in Monaco.

Wolff went on to say that he feels that transparency within the team is suffering a little. Mercedes are extremely comfortable at the top of the Constructor's championship as they have a lead of 158 point's over Infiniti Red Bull Racing. In the Driver's championship the Mercedes pair are out in front with Nico Rosberg holding a 29 point lead over Lewis Hamilton while Hamilton in turn is 53 point's clear of third placed Daniel Ricciardo. Following the race Nico Rosberg said:

'That was an amazing weekend for us here. It was so great to be back again in Austria - for me, it felt almost like being at my home race in Germany! This is a great track, with amazing fans and at the end also with a great result for us. I have to thank the team for a great car and a perfect strategy. We chose the aggressive way to pit earlier and to overtake the Williams that way and that worked out quite well. We had to look after our brakes, which was a big job for the whole race. 

Also this worked out perfectly for me. Before the weekend, my target was to extend the lead in the championship, which I achieved. So I can be quite confident before the next home race for our team in Silverstone. A great job also from Williams, they were the second force today. Congratulations to them.'

Hamilton said:

'After what happened yesterday in qualifying, today was all about damage limitation for me, so I´m as happy as I can be with a P2 finish. I have had the pace in the car all weekend here but I wasn´t able to capitalise on that, so getting second place from a bad weekend is pretty good, I guess. 

I had a rocket start - it´s something we´ve be working hard on all year and it was one of the best I´ve ever had. You can´t ever plan what´s going to happen but I managed to put the car in all the right places and climb to P4 by the end of the first lap. We were managing the brakes a lot today, because I was in traffic for most of the race and it was the most important thing to bring the car home, so that was a real balancing act. But the strategy worked really well for me to get into second position, then I tried to start pushing Nico - but he didn´t make any mistakes and I didn´t have the chance to overtake. The guys did a fantastic job today to get us another one-two and the fans here in Austria have been insane. Next race is in Silverstone and all the positive energy from my home fans; it will be a special time and I´ll be going all out for the win.'

Paddy Lowe said:

'We woke up this morning knowing that we had a big job to do today given our less than ideal qualifying positions. We had a lot of work to do with the strategy to get the cars to the front. Both drivers had great starts and a good first lap, particularly from Lewis which meant we were in P3 and P4 after lap one. Behind the scenes we were doing a lot to manage the condition of the car during the race, at the same time as running a strategy to overtake the Williams, who looked to have very strong pace today. To finish where we did is a credit to the whole team. Well done to Williams for getting P3 and P4 and congratulations to Mercedes-Benz for securing seven out of the top ten positions with no retirements at this particulary demanding circuit.'

© Ben Johnston 2014

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