Mercedes' weakness exposed in F1 Austrian Grand Prix
The Mercedes Formula 1 cars were stricken by an overheating issue on Sunday during the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes’ Achilles heel was exposed at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix, team boss Toto Wolff says.
“We knew it would be a difficult race for us,” said Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. “In the end, it was even worse than we expected.”
After a run of eight consecutive wins to open the 2019 season for Mercedes, it was Red Bull and Ferrari finishing one-two in Austria as the Silver Arrows battled to control an overheating problem.
“We already opened the bodywork as much as we could. The only other way to get the temperatures down was lift and coast,” Wolff said. “We knew we had a problem with the chassis cooling, that is our Achilles heel. But when we lose, that’s really the best way to learn.”
Lewis Hamilton, the runaway championship leader, said he was also surprised how much Mercedes had to slow down their cars to control the overheating.
“The others went through the race at full speed, just as should always be the case in Formula 1,” Hamilton said. “Fortunately, there are not many hot races like this. Maybe Hungary or Mexico.”
Boss Wolff told Canal Plus broadcaster that Hockenheim might also be a problem for Mercedes.
“In my heart I was upset that we could not defend ourselves here, let alone attack,” Wolff said. “We had to lift and coast for 400 meters at a time to cool the car.
“That’s rolling around, not racing. But while it was not a good day for us, it was a good day for Formula 1. Just as there are good and bad football games, it is obvious that Paul Ricard was not a good track layout for spectacular racing, but Spielberg made up for it.”
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