Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has described the performance at
the São Paulo Grand Prix as an “inexcusable result”. The
Brackley-based outfit showed disappointing pace during the Sprint
on Saturday as it struggled with tyre degradation, which indicated
a challenging Grand Prix lay in wait. So it proved as Lewis
Hamilton and George Russell, who started from fifth and sixth
respectively, slipped back throughout the race. Russell was forced
to retire late on as power unit oil temperatures soared, while
Hamilton was eighth and over one minute down on Red Bull’s
race-winner Max Verstappen. Mercedes’ performance contrasted
greatly with its last two outings in the United States and Mexico,
where Hamilton took the chequered flag in second place [before
being disqualified in Austin]. Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the
race, Wolff insisted Mercedes took home “an inexcusable result”.
“Horrible. Lewis survived out there but George… I can only feel for
two [drivers] driving such a miserable thing. “It shows how
difficult the car is. It’s on a knife’s edge, we’ve got to develop
that better for next year because it can’t be that within seven
days you’re finishing on the podium, probably one of the two
quickest cars and then you’re nowhere. “George’s issue was PU and
we were over all metrics on cooling. It is what it is. I’m not sure
if we would have finished with the point or not.” W14 car ‘doesn’t
deserve a win’ Mercedes is facing its first winless season since
2012 with just two rounds remaining in the current campaign. The
Silver Arrows prevailed in Brazil last term, which remains its only
victory in F1 since the newest aerodynamic regulations were
introduced. “This car doesn’t deserve a win,” Wolff conceded. “I
think we need to push for the last two races and recover. “I think
that’s the most important thing and see what we can do in Las
Vegas. It’s a totally different track and [then] Abu Dhabi but the
performance [in Brazil] was just lacking. “Straight-line speed was
one issue but probably not the main factor. “The main factor was
that we couldn’t go around the corners with the bigger wing with
the base we needed and we were killing the tyres, just eating them
up within a few laps.”

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