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Wolff: “Our car is a bit of a diva”

Monaco Grand Prix – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that the W07 is more difficult to get into the correct operating window than the team have experienced in the past, explaining Lewis Hamilton’s poor qualifying.

Hamilton was eliminated in Q2 after making several errors struggling with the grip of his car. Knocked out after encountering the yellow flags put out for Stoffel Vandoorne’s car, Hamilton will start the race from P13.

Speaking to media afterwards, Wolff explained that the W07 is proving a bit of a headache when it comes to figuring out why it occasionally doesn’t respond well to setup changes.

“There is a certain DNA in our car, and I think we’ve proved that our car, in qualifying, can go very fast. But it’s proving to be a little bit more of a diva to get it into the right window, and you can see that it’s marginal differences that make it drop out of the window. We just need to get on top of these, and our team has proven that they know how to put it on the track on Friday and develop it over the weekend.”

:We’ve had problems in the past, at Singapore 2015, which was for different reasons, but this is another one. This is the second weekend in three, four, years where we’ve struggled really badly from the get go with the setup.”

“At the end of 2012, we built the base for us to understand the tyres for the consecutive years. Since then, it’s been the change in regulations and it’s taking us a while to get on top of things. But the more mileage we get on the car with these tyres, the better we understand them.”

Hamilton said that the reasons for his struggles were “a big unknown”, and that a “lot of analysis” will go into fixing the problem. He confirmed that the problems for him stemmed from the tyres, and it was a problem that had cropped up from FP2 onwards. He said the problem had also been affecting him in Russia two rounds ago, a race where he struggled to P4.

Baffled as to the cause of the problems, he said that the car is continuously dropping in and out of its optimum performance window, often several times during the same lap, and sometimes affects a single tyre at a time.


Thomas Maher

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