Azerbaijan GP: Toto Wolff Points Out Exactly Where Mercedes F1 Car Was a ‘Shocker’ in Baku

Published 06/07/2021, 9:03 AM CDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


We witnessed a marvelous race on the streets of Baku yesterday with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez winning from Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Both Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton failed to add any points to their Championship tally.

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Although things don’t go as planned for Mercedes, as they consecutively failed to deliver a significant result on street circuits. Both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished in midfield at P12 and P16, respectively.

Overall, Mercedes had an arduous time in Baku. However, after Hamilton’s title rival, Max Verstappen, had crashed out after a tire blowout, he had the golden opportunity to restore their lead in both drivers’ and constructors’ championships. Unfortunately, an unexpected brake balance setting change caused him to lock brakes on Turn 1, causing him to slide off the track.

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It is a known fact that street circuits aren’t Mercedes’ forte, and after the race, Toto Wolff revealed where exactly the Silver Arrows’ car caused problems.

Watch Story: Toto Wolff Swears, Valtteri Bottas Bares: Funniest Moments From Drive to Survive

What did Toto Wolff say?

When asked about Silver Arrows shortcomings in Baku, Wolff said, “The 90-degree corners we have actually been quite competitive, it was all through the twisty [turns] seven to 10. You could see in the middle sector we were really close.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 5, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

“The car was quicker on the straight, but the middle sector was a total shocker.” 

Toto Wolff on Valtteri Bottas struggles

It was a weekend to forget for Valtteri Bottas, who made no progress and once the race restarted after Verstappen‘s crash. In fact, he fell further behind, ultimately finishing P12.

He struggled for pace all weekend, with several people admitting that there was something wrong with his car.

Wolff admitted that the Finnish driver’s car was nowhere at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which caused him to lose out on confidence.

“The car was nowhere, and when the car is nowhere on a city circuit you lose on confidence.”

This comes after the Monaco Grand Prix where Bottas had to retire because of a jammed wheel nut on his front right tire.

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With the Finnish driver finishing 12th and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez winning the race, Red Bull have increased their lead over Mercedes by 25 points. Despite neither driver adding to their point tally at Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Max Verstappen still leads Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship by four points.

What do you think will happen at the French Grand Prix? The track has historically benefitted Mercedes, so will Hamilton come out on top and regain his lead?

Let us know in the comments!

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Pingaksh Sharma

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