Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Wolff says it was “painful” to watch Mercedes drivers “cruising around”

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the Austrian Grand Prix was “painful” to watch because of how far off the pace his cars had to lap.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were both told to lift-and-coast due to the cooling problems the team experienced at the Red Bull Ring.

Wolff said the team anticipated the problem before they arrived in Austria. “We knew that it was out Achilles Heel and we were carrying the problem since the beginning of the season,” he explained. “We tried to work on mitigating the performance loss. But at the end it was really painful to watch them cruising, not being able to defend or attack.”

Before the race weekend Hamilton said the Mercedes drivers would have to do 300 metres of lift-and-coasting. However it searing temperatures on Sunday the drivers had to back off even more.

Had it not been for that Wolff believes they would have been competitive. “When you look at the positive side we had the car pace,” he said.

“We were running the engine way turned down, lifting and coasting for up the 400 metres, I mean it’s almost having no throttle rolling downwards, and still able to pull in some decent lap times. So I think we would have a go, we would have a chance to fight for the win, but we were limited by the cooling problems.”

Hamilton posted his worst result of the season so far with fifth place after he had to have his front wing replaced. “We lost 11 to 12 seconds,” Wolff confirmed. “But I think that the thing that compromised us today was not being able to drive the car but just cruise around.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Wolff says it was “painful” to watch Mercedes drivers “cruising around””

  1. He has ‘the best drivers’ though and I’m pretty sure he rates Lewis higher than Verstappen. I’ts not like Red Bull have an engine advantage.
    With Ferrari dropping the ball again Mercedes are still the best team.

  2. 1. Mercedes should have pushed their car closer to the limit
    2. The Mercedes drivers were simply not good today

    1. 1. No. What for? Risk DNF?
      2. Absolutely no

      1. Exactly @dallein. Sure, it must have been “painfull” and maybe frustrating to watch and to know there was not much they could do. But compared to last year the team got an unmeasurably better result, so in the greater picture of the season it is one (or two if they are in similar form in Mexico) weak races in the season.

        They still achieved better than the average for any other team today, so really the fact that this is painfull for Mercedes should be painfull to realise for any other team.

    2. And risk DNFs like last year? Great comment! The championship is not won or lost in 1 race. Remember these Pus have to last 7 races each. I think this race will seem like a good decision on mercs part come seasons end. While Ferrari and RB are racking up penalties for using more than 3 Pus. Enjoy today. Merc and Lewis know how to win F1 championships and so that will prove come Seasons end.

      1. Ferrari and red bull aren’t racing for the championship at this stage, they’ll go for a few wins as it should be, so they don’t really care, they just want performance.

        1. Agree. Obvious the way RB hunted down Ham and Bottas the Honda was at “11”. Ferrari and RB need wins and engine life is not the 1st priority. Still a long season and the Mercedes duo must protect their points positions.

    3. Yeah– I mean, 25 points is meaningless, right?

  3. Again Mercedes fail to achieve successive win no 11.
    McLaren keep that old record from 1988!

    1. getting more and more clear every year they do, just how impressive that record was, right @eurbrun, especially if you were to list longest run, and then the next 10 runner ups, with several teams having gotten close several times, but not quite there.

      1. And especially when Mercedes (well and Ferrari almost 2 decades ago) have had a very long spell dominating the sport, and still this record remains unbroken @eurobrun, @bosyber!

    2. Not possible. Mercedes has the most dominant reliable unbeatable car in the history of motorsports. I know this is true, because I read it on the internet.

  4. And Merc ARE going for the championship so have to ensure they make their 3 PUs last. They have to think long term not 1 race ahead. Expect the same performance from Merc at Brazil and Mexico. RB and Ferrari can fight over the crumbs left by Merc.

Comments are closed.