Mercedes AMG Team Principal Toto Wolff and Technical Director James Allison have both admitted the German outfit still has “work to do” after Lewis Hamilton’s Russian Grand Prix was heavily compromised by over-heating.
“[T]he result was also a reminder that we still have work to do,” commented Wolff after the race.
During the first stint of the race, Hamilton complained multiple times over race radio that he was suffering severe overheating. Because of this, he was unable to stay with third placed Raikkonen and by lap 15, he admitted on the radio, “I’m out of this race guys.”
Hamilton wasn’t wrong, as he made no further progress and finished P4.
“Lewis had to manage temperatures from very early on, which meant he couldn’t unlock the potential of the undercut around the stops,” Wolff told media.
Although Wolff has mostly pointed to car issues as the lack of the pace, Hamilton felt differently, saying, “I just wasn’t quick enough.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) April 30, 2017
James Allison also commented, “[The Russian Grand Prix is] a reminder to us that we have more work to do before we can put a car on the track for both Saturday and Sunday that we know is going to absolutely top rank competitive.”
The team used team radio on lap 21 to confirm to Hamilton that eventual race winner Valtteri Bottas was suffering from the same issues, but, they weren’t as severe because he was running in cleaner air.
Allison admitted, “Our happiness [for Bottas’ victory] is tempered though by the fact that we couldn’t get Lewis into a position where he could be properly competitive.”
Russia was the first time since Azerbaijan that Lewis Hamilton finished a race outside of the podium.
Toto Wolff affirmed, “it is a priority for us to sort this out before Barcelona.”