Wolff Absolves Hamilton of Blame for Mercedes F1 Car Damage at Austrian GP

Published 07/04/2021, 12:45 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner


Lewis Hamilton had a day to forget at the Austrian Grand Prix. If finishing P4 wasn’t bad enough, falling further behind Max Verstappen in the driver’s championship made it far worse.

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Although the Briton passed Lando Norris to go P2 on lap 20, he suffered floor damage later in the race, which hampered his pace. After the race, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff absolved Hamilton of any fault.

Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton isn’t at fault for his poor P4 finish

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The defending world champion looked far off the pace during the entirety of the race. Although Mercedes tried a two-stop strategy to try getting an extra point for the fastest lap, Hamilton finished the race where he started – P4.

Although the Briton briefly occupied P3 after Sergio Perez’s misfortune on Lap 4, he took 16 more laps to pass Lando Norris. However, Hamilton suffered floor damage soon after stopping for fresh tires, which handed his rivals an advantage.

Despite serving a five-second penalty, Norris passed Hamilton on Lap 53 with the Briton clearly struggling for pace. A lap prior, Bottas swapped places with Hamilton to take P2 in the race ahead of Norris in P3.

Wolff believes the damage to Hamilton’s car was due to some parts wearing out rather than the Briton’s error. As quoted by F1 journalist Tobi Gruner, Wolff admitted the damage cost Hamilton lots of downforce worth 0.5 seconds a lap.

I don’t think Lewis is to blame for that,” said the Austrian. “From the load data he didn’t appear to run too wide over the kerbs. Maybe fatigue of the parts played a role.”

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Has the title slipped away from Hamilton this season?

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The Briton now trails Max Verstappen by 32 points after nine races. In addition, Red Bull seem to carry a huge pace advantage as compared to Mercedes on regular tracks as well, which could threaten their title defence this season.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton Pool via REUTERS/Nicolas Tucat

However, the next race in Silverstone might be just the place for Hamilton to bounce back in the title fight. The Briton has seven wins in his home Grand Prix, and with a full house set to pack the stands, he could be in a better place to challenge Verstappen on July 18.

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WATCH STORY: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

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Sanket Nair

362 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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