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Mercedes 'have something coming for Miami' as Wolff hopes for crucial step forward

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas

Toto Wolff is optimistic that an upgrade Mercedes are set to bring to the upcoming Miami Grand Prix could be a “good step” after the team struggled to get their car in the right window last time out in China.

It was a challenging weekend at times for the squad during F1’s return to the Shanghai International Circuit. There were particularly mixed emotions for Lewis Hamilton, who had finished the Sprint race in P2 before then qualifying down in 18th place for Sunday’s event.

READ MORE: Hamilton ‘grateful just to get points’ in China as Russell admits Mercedes have ‘work to do’ before Miami

Come race day, the seven-time world champion managed to work his way forwards to P9, while George Russell crossed the line in P6 after starting two positions back from that on the grid.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 following Sunday’s Grand Prix, team boss Wolff revealed that the squad are hoping to work on their pace, with an update on the way for the W15 at the next race.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 21: Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks on the phone in the

Wolff says that Mercedes' performance during the Chinese Grand Prix was "not good enough"

“Considering where we put the cars altogether, our team was not [in] a good position for today,” the Austrian explained. “Not good enough overall, P6 I think it was and [P9], but it’s lacking pace so we’ve got to dig deep.

“We have something coming for Miami that looks like a good step – let’s see where that brings us out.”

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from China – Who excelled as F1 returned to Shanghai?

The Silver Arrows have continued to carry out experiments on the car, with Hamilton embarking on a further one during the weekend in Shanghai. Quizzed on what the team had learned from this – and whether it had proven, after five rounds, that the W15 is a fundamentally okay car – Wolff answered: “No, it’s not an okay car.

“I think we can see what the mistakes were that we did on the car. I think we wanted to go a bit more aggressive to see [if it is] something that is so different that we need to do on the car, and you can see Lewis today took it on him also. That was maybe a step too far.”

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes waves to fans on the grid

Hamilton enjoyed the high of finishing P2 in the Shanghai Sprint, before the low of qualifying in P18 for Sunday's race

Pushed for further details on what this experiment entailed – given that the car had helped Hamilton to earn points but also saw him struggle in qualifying – Wolff responded: “Well also the race car was not fast.

“You could hear him saying [that] the car doesn’t turn, and this is what we’ve been seeing on the data. It just wasn’t the right thing to do.”

READ MORE: F2 racer Antonelli ‘excited for what’s coming’ after making ‘incredible’ F1 test debut with Mercedes

Wolff was coy on how much the upcoming upgrade could be worth, with his comment being: “Let’s see, hopefully a bit.”

Mercedes left China in fourth place of the constructors’ standings with 52 points, 12 more than Aston Martin in fifth position but 44 points behind McLaren in third.

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