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Toto Wolff

Wolff bemoans Mercedes’ 'worst weekend' since F1 return

Mercedes endured a tough weekend in Brazil as it struggled for pace during the sprint race and the Grand Prix. Team Principal Toto Wolff has claimed that it is the worst weekend it has endured since it returned to F1 in 2010.

Hamilton Wolff
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Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has labelled the São Paulo Grand Prix as the team's “worst weekend in 13 years”.

The Brackley-based squad endured a difficult round at the Interlagos Circuit with its challenges starting in qualifying as it ended the session over seven-tenths down on pole-sitter Max Verstappen.

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell struggled for pace during the Sprint before its woes deepened during the Grand Prix.

Seven-time champion Hamilton could only manage eighth on the road as he struggled for pace, while Russell was forced to retire after being hit with rising power unit oil temperatures late on while running at the foot of the point-scoring positions.

“I think Sprint weekends haven't been our strengths,” he told media including RacingNews365.com

“We are working ourselves out of problems on most weekends. But swings are not on from being almost quickest [in Mexico] to being eighth.

“For me personally, the worst weekend in 13 years.”

Mercedes considered pit lane start

Mercedes' pace during the Sprint suggested that it was in for a difficult Grand Prix as Hamilton struggled with tyre degradation during the shorter, 24-lap event.

With just a single practice session to set the cars up for the race, the teams had limited data to establish a set-up direction for their challengers.

An option exists to pull the cars out of parc fermé in order to optimise the set-up, however, it results in a pit lane start.

“We didn't know fundamentally where we would have changed it because there is a much bigger issue.

“We thought about [a pit lane start]. But when thinking about maximizing points, it was probably right to start like this.”

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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