Mercedes was looking to bounce back from a poor weekend in Monaco, where Hamilton finished seventh after struggling with getting heat into his tyres, while teammate Bottas retired mid-race. But it was a day to forget in the office for the seven-time world champions, with Lewis Hamilton settling P7 and P11 across the two sessions, with teammate Valtteri Bottas languishing down in 10th and 16th. This led Team Boss Toto Wolff think that there is something wrong with Mercedes in Baku.
The Baku City Circuit is known to be a known to one of the fastest street circuits in the world. So expect plenty over-taking and drama on the race day. But after the string of disappointing results, is Toto Wolff right upon Mercedes?
Toto Wolff believes something is wrong with Mercedes in Azerbaijan Grand Prix
On Friday, Sky F1’s Simon Lazenby reported that Toto Wolff has declined to come out and speak to any media, we can understand that.
“He’s gone straight to talk to his engineers to try to find out what on earth has happened [today],” he added.
Wolff eventually did face the media on Friday and admitted they were perplexed by their pace.
“We have a strong race car, but we are struggling to get it for one lap. It is the same as we have seen in Monaco, we don’t deliver in some sections, and it seems to continue in Baku,” he said.
“There are only 90-degree corners here, so it was always clear that it would be difficult for us. You can clearly see in the lap times that something is fundamentally wrong. We are now trying to tune the car so that it works.”
Having said that, Hamilton fared better on Saturday morning, going third fastest as main title rival Max Verstappen crashed out of the session.
Bottas, meanwhile, still struggled in the W12, setting the 13th fastest time with Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly surprising the field by topping the timesheets.