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Toto Wolff

Wolff 'hurt' by Mercedes disqualification error

Hamilton lost his second place at the United States Grand Prix after excessive plank wear was discovered.

Wolff Belgium
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has conceded the team is 'hurt' by Lewis Hamilton's disqualification from the United States Grand Prix.

The seven-time World Champion had finished second on track behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen after a fascinating strategy-led race but ultimately was stripped of his result for excessive plank wear.

It means his quest to overhaul Sergio Perez's advantage in the race for second in the Drivers' standings now looks an uphill task with the gap stretched to 39 points with four races remaining.

The result took a shine off what had been a positive event where a new upgrade package had given Hamilton instantaneous improvement, at least providing optimism for the future.

"Austin was a weekend of mixed feelings," explained Wolff.

"The positives are that the upgrade looks to have given us a step forward in terms of performance. Our pace was strong all weekend and it was encouraging to be in the fight for victory.

"The negative was of course failing to capitalise on our pace with the result. Losing a podium finish hurts and is not a position we want to find ourselves in. The complexities of a Sprint weekend and a bumpy circuit caught us out. But rules are rules. We will learn from this and improve. Now we move on to the next race."

Vesti introduction

F1 moves onto the second leg of an Americas triple-header in Mexico City this weekend, with Mercedes set to run Fred Vesti in FP1 to fulfil one of its mandated rookie runs.

"Mexico is always an exciting weekend," said Wolff.

"The fans are super passionate and energetic. The venue also presents a unique challenge with the high altitude. It has a major impact on how we operate the car, and it is always a challenge to find the optimum solution.

"It will also be a good test of our upgrade package; seeing how it performs at a circuit with very different characteristics. That will be useful for our continued learning and development for W15.

"Finally, FP1 will see Fred Vesti in the car for one of our two mandatory rookie sessions. He has acquitted himself well in Formula 2 and I am sure he will do a good job for the team."

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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