‘No quick fix for Hamil­ton’s prob­lems’

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: For­mula One cham­pi­ons Mercedes have no “magic bul­lets” to solve the prob­lems that slowed Lewis Hamil­ton in Rus­sia last month, but they are fo­cus­ing on find­ing a so­lu­tion, team boss Toto Wolff said yes­ter­day.

Hamil­ton started and fin­ished fourth in Sochi on April 30, end­ing a run of eight suc­ces­sive ap­pear­ances on the podium.

The triple world cham­pion was left puz­zling over “a very odd week­end.”

The Bri­ton had com­plained of his Mercedes over­heat­ing from early on. He ended up fin­ish­ing 36 sec­onds be­hind team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas, who took the first win of his For­mula One ca­reer.

“Lewis had a dif­fi­cult week­end in both qual­i­fy­ing and the race,” Wolff said in a preview for Sun­day’s Span­ish Grand Prix, the fifth round of the sea­son, in Barcelona.

“We have spent our time since then un­pick­ing what hap­pened to un­der­stand why we couldn’t get the car in the right win­dow (of per­for­mance) so he could feel com­fort­able with it,” added the Aus­trian.

“There are no magic bul­lets to un­der­stand­ing that, just a lot of hard work and at­ten­tion to de­tail.

“We must give him the tools he needs to do the job in the next races and that will be a big fo­cus for us.”

Hamil­ton failed to fin­ish in Spain last year af­ter col­lid­ing with then-team­mate Nico Ros­berg at the start, a clash that al­lowed Red Bull’s Dutch teenager Max Ver­stap­pen to win.

This sea­son, Fer­rari and Mercedes have each won two races so far.

Wolff said Mercedes, who lead Fer­rari in the con­struc­tors’ stand­ings by a sin­gle point, needed to make plenty of im­prove­ments.

“The pre­vail­ing feel­ing is that there is lots of home­work to do to come back stronger with a car that can per­form on a con­sis­tent level ev­ery week­end,” Wolff said.

“I have the feel­ing that we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion, but we need 24/7 shifts to achieve our ul­ti­mate tar­gets.” Reuters

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