Toto Wolff: “We have the concern that the same thing could happen again”

Toto Wolff admitted it was a bittersweet feeling to see Lewis Hamilton suffer a repeat Power Unit issue during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, especially with the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team being so dominant this weekend.

Wolff saw Nico Rosberg take pole position at the Sochi Autodrom, but team-mate Hamilton will start down in tenth following the issue with his Mercedes power unit, a problem that was a replica of what was seen two weeks ago during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Despite the issues and the disappointment of being forced to sit out the final phase of qualifying, Wolff praised Hamilton for his professionalism throughout the problems.

“We didn’t get to see the battle we had all hoped for after Lewis suffered a repeat of the failure he experienced in Shanghai,” revealed Wolff. “It’s so unfortunate for him after the problems he has already faced this season – and of course we have the concern that the same thing could happen again. But this is also part of motor racing.

“The Power Unit is a core element of performance and one of our biggest strengths. We are pushing hard to find lap time in every area and it’s inevitable that sometimes you reach limits in that process.

“Lewis has handled everything so far this year with calm and professionalism. He is resilient and showing a great attitude, even though this is a tough time for him.”