Toto Wolf is afraid of Mercedes issues but not nervous
Toto Wolf admitted this MercedesThe “gearbox problem” “scared him,” but they were not worried about their start.
Mercedes has dominated the turbo-hybrid era, winning all the last seven constructors’ championships, and is expected to reach eighth in a row in 2021.
Their debut in the Bahrain Test has not been planned yet, with their Friday morning session being disrupted by a gearbox issue that limited Valtteri Bottas to only six laps of the Saturday morning session.
Lewis Hamilton had a better handle on things in the afternoon, but the W12 was sent into the garage as soon as he came on Saturday morning when Hamilton lost control and got ashore in a sand trap.
Mercedes’ customer team, Aston Martin, has had gearbox issues as well, raising concerns about Mercedes parts.
Speaking to Sky Italia, Wolf said: “Unlike past years, the start of this year was terrible. We are not fast, we have reliability issues, but this is a situation in which we have to prove our ability to respond.”
“Yes, it scares me. We haven’t changed the gear design and we saw two problems. All these things are a warning not only because we are not taking the risk of ending the race but also for the costs.”
Vision Hamilton He loses control of his car and holds a red flag, the session is definitely not a familiar sight in Formula 1, so there have been questions about how the seven-time world champ is feeling after a disjointed test over the weekend so far.
However, Wolf says he’s not worried.
Wolf added: “He is not nervous and we are not nervous, but we have to understand what went wrong.”
“There are many new things that are not working. Vehicle balance is the biggest problem.”
The thing Mercedes had to cope with was the introduction of the budget cap, and working within that seemed not to be an easy task.
“It was really difficult for us. We have a way of doing our work that doesn’t meet the budget ceiling, so we spent a lot of time reorganizing the way we work,” Wolf said.
Co-coverage by Luca Brambella