The 2022 season has been quite unlucky for Mercedes and unfortunately, it keeps getting worse. The team has been trying hard to figure out a Gremlin in the F1 car since the beginning of the season but hasn’t succeeded in finding the root cause of the problem.
With the kind of qualifying results we saw at Imola, one would not be surprised if ‘heated talks’ took place between team principal Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton.
For the first sprint of the season, Hamilton was unable to get out of Q2 and could only manage to secure a 13th place on the grid. But it could’ve been worse since he scraped into Q2 by just four-thousandths of a second!
The wet session at Imola proved to be disastrous for the W13 F1 car as it just couldn’t get any grip. The team couldn’t make it into Q3 for the first time since the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.
After the resumption of the session, Carlos Sainz’s crash called for a red flag event that prevented Hamilton from attempting faster times.
Seven-Time Former World Champion Lewis Hamilton climbed out of his car and stopped to talk to team principal Toto Wolff. The exchange of words looked rather heated, but when asked about the incident, Hamilton said:
“That’s all internal stuff, so I won’t share that. But we’ll just keep working. It is what it is, it’s kind of…(shrugs). We’ll just keep working hard. Each weekend’s a rescue.”
Wolff tried his best to damage control the situation by insisting that there was no argument between the two. It was more of a ‘shared anger’ about the current situation.
With the W13 F1 car staring at a violent porpoising problem and without a solution in sight, it is natural for an ace driver like Hamilton to vent out his frustration. What’s worse is the occurring delay in getting to the bottom of the issue.
Toto has assured that the team is working hard to solve the problem but he hasn’t given it a time frame. On the contrary, he said it could take 2 months or the entire season to address it. Upgrading parts on the F1 car is ruled out too as it may actually create further problems.
Talking about the incident to Sky F1, Toto said:
“There was no disagreement at all, It doesn’t go any closer like the two of us are. We were just so angry about the session overall, him and I, and he vented at me, I vented at him but it was absolutely about the same thing.”
“It’s just a degree of frustration that we are not able to generate the grip on the first lap and yesterday was all about first lap. Then it red-flagged and we weren’t able to make it into Q3 and it’s so frustrating.”
Given the circumstances under which Hamilton is racing, he might be contemplating a move away from Mercedes, as hinted by Mika Hakkinen.
Hamilton eventually ended the sprint in 14th place while his team-mate George Russell fared better by securing 11th place. However, both drivers were unable to score points.♦ Follow Grand Tour Nation on Google News