German Grand Prix: We’ve made too many mistakes – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff

Formula 1


Toto Wolff is attempting to lead Mercedes to a fifth consecutive constructors’ title this season

Mercedes admit they have made too many mistakes and underperformed in the first half of the season.

Lewis Hamilton trails Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by eight points going into this weekend’s German Grand Prix, the halfway point of the season.

Team boss Toto Wolff said: “We’ve left points on the table and had to damage limitation more than we wanted.”

He added the team’s “own mistakes” had harmed their points haul in the three consecutive races preceding Hockenheim.

Hamilton won in France on 24 June at the start of the three back-to-back races but Mercedes suffered a double retirement the following week in Austria, after costing Hamilton the lead with a strategy error.

At the last race in Silverstone, a poor start by Hamilton cost him the lead from pole position, and the Briton was then demoted to the back of the field by a collision with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap. He recovered to finish second behind Vettel.

But Wolff said the team could take comfort in the fact that they had qualified on pole position for all three races.

“We didn’t score as many points in the triple-header as we had hoped for,” Wolff said. “A lot of that was down to our own mistakes.

“However, there is a silver lining to all this – while we didn’t maximise on points, we did bring the quickest car to all three races.”

He added: “We still scored a good amount of points, both drivers have shown strong performances and we have a fast car. So there are many reasons why we’re looking forward to the second half of the 2018 season; we’re hungry, ambitious and want to kick on from here.”

The German race is the first of two events on consecutive weekends before Formula 1’s mid-season four-week break, with Hungary following on 27-29 July.

Mercedes said after Silverstone that they would be working on improving their starts, after accepting that Ferrari had shown an advantage in this area for too long.

The weather is expected to be hot, around 30C, which could favour Ferrari, especially as teams will be expected to focus on the ‘ultra-soft’ tyre, and the Italian car has tended in the past to work slightly better than the Mercedes in hot conditions on the softer tyres.



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