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Toto Wolff

Wolff on Hamilton radio calls: We have no problem with tough conversations

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the "thick-skinned" nature of the relationship between the team and Lewis Hamilton means they may need to be better in how they relay information to their driver.

Hamilton Turkey rain
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Toto Wolff says that Mercedes may need to reconsider how best to communicate with their drivers on-track, in order to ensure there's better trust of the calls being made from the pit wall.

Lewis Hamilton finished in fifth place in Turkey, after initially resisting a call from Mercedes to box for a fresh set of Intermediates. This proved to be the wrong move, with Hamilton potentially missing out on a podium as a result when he was forced to pit with eight laps remaining.

It was the second race in a row where Hamilton initially went against a team instruction to pit, although his call worked out well at the Russian Grand Prix as he won the race.

Asked about whether the team need to be more forceful with Hamilton on the radio, Wolff said that it's a delicate balance of using driver feedback against the broader picture of the information available to the pits.

"It's very difficult because the communication needs to flow both directions, and that's crucial," Wolff told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.

"The pilot is the vital sensor on track that will tell you all about the grip levels. But the pilot doesn't see himself relative to the other drivers and the other performances.

"That information we need to work on, because we've had what Lewis called a genius stroke in terms of strategy last time around, and I think we just need to really work on the communication to trust each other and, in a way, be able to describe what we're aiming for."

Wolff added that the relationship between the team and Hamilton is strong enough to quickly bounce back from stressful situations.

"We have no problem at all with tough conversations on the radio before you have complete information," he said.

"And, obviously, we wouldn't speak like this to Lewis, because he's driving a car at 320 kilometres an hour. But that's all OK, we are totally aligned.

"We've been in this together eight years. We are thick-skinned enough to understand that the driver in the car is frustrated about the situation, that he will understand afterwards."

F1 2021 Turkish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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