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Toto Wolff

Wolff points to 'hidden gremlins' that are plaguing Mercedes

Toto Wolff believes that focusing on set-up direction is important for Mercedes at this point of the season, rather than trying to rush upgrades.

Hamilton Australia
Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Toto Wolff has downplayed the urgency of bringing updates to the Mercedes W13, after the reigning Constructors' Champions opted against changing anything on their troublesome car for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows have noticeably struggled through the first two race weekends, but decided not to rush through any new parts for the Melbourne race.

Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were particularly downbeat after Friday practice, bemoaning the fact that the W13 wasn't responding to the set-up changes they were making.

Wolff: There are "gremlins" we haven't found yet

But Wolff has said that figuring out a sweet spot for the car's set-up is, at the moment, more important than muddying the waters of their progress by introducing any updated parts.

"I think set-ups in the right direction are very, very important," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, after Hamilton and Russell qualified fifth and sixth respectively.

"We've seen that the drivers were much happier with the car today than yesterday. 'Night and day' were the words that Lewis chose.

"But we're talking a couple of tenths, maybe a little bit more. The long runs will be interesting tomorrow, but there is a gremlin in our car - a few gremlins that we haven't found yet. That's something that we need to continue to analyse, and look at the data.

"It's science. It's physics, not mystics."

Wolff satisfied by qualfying performance

With the fastest Mercedes time in qualifying - set by Hamilton - just over a second slower than the pole position lap, Wolff said he was pleased that both of his cars made it comfortably into Q3.

"I'm satisfied with the result today," the Team Principal said, pointing out that two expected frontrunners having problems had resulted in the team's own result being flattered.

"Obviously, if you correct for [Carlos] Sainz and [Fernando] Alonso, it's less good, but still solidly in the top 10. That was not a given with the closeness of the front end of the midfield.

"I think we're just learning the car. We're learning the tyres. Nothing we did this weekend has unlocked the aerodynamic potential, or has reduced the bouncing and we're still at the same place.

"That's why it doesn't make any sense to bring updates because you're confusing yourself even more. Maybe it's the fact that the more downforce you bring the worse the bouncing gets, so we're still learning."

Also interesting:

Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?

Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.

F1 2022 Australian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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