Toto Wolff Reveals Mercedes’ Solution to ‘Calm’ Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas’ Over F1 Chassis Swap

Published 06/18/2021, 11:13 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – April 30, 2021 Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Mercedes will be looking to bounce back at the French Grand Prix after enduring two horrible weekends, one at Monaco and the other at Baku.


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In order to maximize their performance, Lewis Hamilton will have to swap his car’s chassis with his teammate, Valtteri Bottas. Team principal Toto Wolff offered the reason behind the team taking such a step.

The Silver Arrows can finally have some breathing space, as Hamilton and Bottas were in the top two of the first practice session on Friday. And in FP2, Hamilton found himself in P3 while his Finnish teammate was just ahead of him.


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Toto Wolff explains the Hamilton-Bottas chassis swap

Speaking after FP2, Wolff said, “I think it’s always going to be tight in the front some good runs some less good runs. But a lot of good paces.”

Being asked about the chassis swap, he explained, “Yeah we swap parts all the time, and this part of the planning to carry over chassis, they around for a second season.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“So we are not accumulating millions of miles on one, basically that’s part of the plan. But it’s good to get feedback and if it’s calm the driver’s mind we have a spare chassis, which is a brand new one. We can always do that.”

Being asked if there is any difference in the two chassis. Wolff replied, “It was the chassis that did splendidly in Monaco, that qualified Valtteri right in front.

“So you never know, you listen to the engineers and say it’s all tested, there shouldn’t be any different. But if the driver feels if it’s not, then it is definitely. You just need to change.”

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

Can this make a difference for Mercedes on race day?

The Brackley-based squad are trying a new formula for the upcoming weekend in France, swapping their driver’s chassis. They hope that is the answer to their questions. So far, it has been a viable option as both cars were in the Top-3 in the first two practice sessions on Friday.

Mercedes are hoping that they can achieve a good starting position in Saturday’s qualifying session to give them a boost for Sunday’s race.

More importantly, the Silver Arrows are looking to have a comeback at Paul Ricard and hope to bridge the gap to title rivals, Red Bull who currently lead the championship table.


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Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Hamilton and Bottas will be looking to maximize the true potential of the W12, and hope they can score some points from the seventh round of the championship, and help their team regain their lead in the title fight.

Do you think the chassis swap will give the Silver Arrows an edge over their rivals from Milton-Keynes in the upcoming French GP? Let us know in the comments below.


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Arpit Gomes

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Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.