Mercedes chief Toto Wolff apologises to Lewis Hamilton for an ‘undrivable’ car and a ‘TERRIBLE race’ after the Brit endures a frustrating 13th place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton was stuck in traffic for much of the race at Imola on Sunday
- Team boss Toto Wolff took the blame for the Brit’s ‘terrible race’ down in 13th
- Wolff instantly messaged Hamilton after the Grand Prix to send his apologies
- Already the Mercedes team boss believes his team are out of title contention
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has apologised to star driver Lewis Hamilton following another frustrating weekend that left the Brit struggling to a 13th place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Brit was already handicapped by having to start from 14th but after gaining three places in the early round of the race, dropped back to his original starting position after the pit-stop phase.
From that point he could find no way past AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, after the pair were caught up in a DRS train behind the Williams of Alex Albon, and only gained a place post-race following a five-second time penalty handed to Esteban Ocon following his unsafe pit release in front of the Brit.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff apologised to Lewis Hamilton after the Brit’s 13th place at Imola
To make matters worse for Hamilton, his British team-mate George Russell showed the real potential of the Mercedes car by finishing fourth.
Wolff though took the blame for Hamilton’s forgettable afternoon after speaking to him directly after the race through radio at the Imola circuit.
Wolff: ‘Lewis, hi, sorry for what you have needed to drive today. I know this is undrivable. It’s not what we deserve to score the result so we move from there. This was a terrible race.’
Hamilton responded: ‘No worries, Toto. Let’s keep working hard.’
Hamilton spent much of the race stuck behind the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly on Sunday
Wolff replied: ‘We will come out of this.’
The Mercedes team boss then claimed in a post-race interview that his team were out of title contention, with Russell already 37 points off the lead in the drivers’ championship, and Hamilton 58.
‘It was really bad [Hamilton’s race]. We got squeezed by the other contenders and no overtaking in DRS train,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘We saw with George [Russell] what you can do in clean air. We are not good enough for a world championship and need to fix the car.
Hamilton’s championship hopes already look in tatters as Mercedes look to improve their car
‘We are going to look at things for Miami, we can make a step in the understanding of the car. It’s another day. We just need to understand more and bring development to the car and fix the bouncing.’
Max Verstappen triumphed at Imola for his second win of the season in a Red Bull one-two to get his and the team’s world championship bids back on track as he now sits 27 points behind Charles Leclerc.
It proved to be a poor Sunday for the Ferrari driver, who was passed at the start by Sergio Perez before spinning late on and finishing sixth overall.