Wolff says Mercedes W13 is ‘not worthy of a world champion’ after Hamilton finishes 13th at Imola
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff offered a stark assessment of the eight-time constructors' champions' performance, after their world champion finished one lap down at Emilia Romagna.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton struggled to a P13 result and finished one lap behind winner – and 2021 rival – Max Verstappen, marking the first time he'd been lapped since the 2017 Mexico Grand Prix. Wolff then apologised to Hamilton on the team radio for an “undrivable” Mercedes (see video below).
Unpacking the Grand Prix, Wolff said: “Yes, I mean, really bad. He got squeezed by the Alpine, the other two cars undercut him, and there is just no overtaking when you are in a DRS train. I think we saw with George where the car can drive if you are in free air, but we are not good enough for a world champion – not worthy for a world champion – we just need to fix the car.”
“I had a little bit of an exchange [on the radio] and said sorry for the car that he needs to drive at the moment and we’ll sort it out… so it’s okay.”
Russell however did manage a fourth-place finish, and is now fourth in the drivers’ standings behind the Red Bull drivers – who took a one-two finish at Ferrari's home circuit.
“George really drove well considering the car that he had underneath him,” continued Wolff. “We missed out on adjusting his front [wing] flap, that means that he had a car that was set up for wet and not for dry, and he held on well – a really, really good drive.”
Looking forward to the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on May 6-8, Wolff said that Mercedes would push on and focus on alleviating their porpoising problem – one of the issues costing them lap time in 2022.
“I think we’re going to look at things for Miami. I think we can make a step in the understanding of the car and it’s another day. We just need to really understand more, creep up, bring developments onto the car which will fix the bouncing.”
Tap here to subscribe to F1 TV for enhanced race coverage, exclusive shows, archive video and more.