Wing damage cost Hamilton second place, says Wolff

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has praised Lewis Hamilton’s drive to third place in Germany after wing damage had compromised his pace.

The Briton chased down Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps, using a three-stop schedule to make better use of supersoft tyres, while the Finn stopped only twice.

“For me it feels like a one-two,” said Wolff. “Because he was coming from P20, and recovering to where he did, considering there were some difficult early laps – it wasn’t like making five, or six, or seven positions in lap one, he was really working hard to get back to the front.

“How close was it? I think the misunderstanding with Jenson cost him quite some lap time. We were quite down on downforce on the front wing, and then at the end with the strategy going back to the option tyre, we knew the window was very narrow where the pace in that tyre was really good. Valtteri was just cold blooded at the end, and defended well.”

Wolff believes that without the damage Hamilton would have had the pace with which to challenge Bottas.

“I think the car could have had much more performance with the wing not damaged. I can’t really give you [a lap time loss], but he lost many, many points of downforce from the front wing.”

Asked by this writer if the team had considered changing the damaged nose, which would have cost around 12s, he said: “We had precise data on what the nose was looking like and how the nose was performing. And of course we were very much aware that there wasn’t structural damage on the front wing, just the front wing end plate, some of the fins. We decided that the front wing was not deteriorating any further, so we decided to keep it on.”


Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

3 responses to “Wing damage cost Hamilton second place, says Wolff

  1. Stone the Crows

    Really going out on a limb with that speculation, eh Toto? Never mind that disc failure in Q-1, or the gearbox change that put him so far back to begin with. However, it was a great drive from Lewis, no doubt about that.

  2. jonti

    Great drive indeed. But my Mum could probably have done much the same, and without all the argy bargy, in that wonderful car.

    Was once a time when we all thought Lewis was truly a ‘special’ driver. Not now, now I think most see him just as good as most and just a tad better than Rosberg.

  3. Off Track

    Fair comment from Toto.
    Worry for Lewis is the 3points lost. They may well make all the difference at season’s end!!

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