Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “You have to take a weekend like this on the chin”

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Credit: LAT Images

Toto Wolff says days like they had in the Monaco Grand Prix will help the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team learn for the future, but the result last Sunday will still make everyone in the team feel ‘awful’.

Valtteri Bottas was on course for a strong podium finish at the Circuit de Monaco before a wheel nut malfunction during his pit stop caused his retirement.  Team-mate Lewis Hamilton could only finish seventh after being jumped by both Sergio Pérez and Sebastian Vettel during his pit stop and being held up by Pierre Gasly throughout the race.

Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says the team will take the weekend in Monaco on the chin after losing the lead in both championships to Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing respectively, and they will come back fighting in the upcoming events.

“Days like today are the ones we learn the most but that doesn’t stop the experience from feeling awful,” said Wolff.  “We had a pretty terrible race day on Sunday, we had a lot of degradation with Valtteri, while still being in the hunt for the podium. Then we machined a wheel nut at the stop, which has never happened to that extent before, and he was forced to retire.

“With Lewis, we just didn’t have the pace in the car – it’s as simple as that. The undercut looked like the only feasible way of clearing Gasly and there wasn’t any mistake, the outlap was good, the pit stop was OK but it just wasn’t enough.

“You have to take a weekend like this on the chin – today we lost a few points but this is a long championship, it is going to swing back and forth and in the end we will see in Abu Dhabi who has their nose ahead. We will regroup and look back, as much as it hurts, to learn the lessons and come back stronger.”

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