Toto Wolff is backing Mercedes to learn from their mistakes and ‘come back stronger’ after taking Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the US Grand Prix ‘on the chin’
- Toto Wolff is adamant that Mercedes will respond following the US Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton was stripped of his second-placed finish hours after the race
- READ: Why was Lewis Hamilton disqualified four hours after finishing second?
Toto Wolff vowed that Mercedes would ‘come back stronger’ after the embarrassment of Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification from the US Grand Prix.
Hamilton was stripped of his second-placed finish hours after Sunday’s race in Austin, Texas, for running an illegal floor. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who came sixth, was thrown out for the same offence.
Now there are doubts over the effectiveness of what had appeared to be a transformative upgrade to the Mercedes’ cars – a new floor, of all things.
For the first time this season, Hamilton was driving competitive machinery, though the fact the plank underneath him wore to below the 9mm minimum – thus allowing his car to run lower to the ground and so produce greater downforce and ultimately more pace – throws that calculation into question.
‘No wonder they were so quick,’ said one rival in the paddock as the stewards came to their decision at 1.20am BST on Monday morning.
Toto Wolff believes that Mercedes will bounce back following Lewis Hamilton’s disqualification
Hamilton was embarrassingly stripped of his second-placed finish hours after Sunday’s race
Mercedes accepted the ruling and will not appeal it.
However, their mitigation is that the bumpy track at the Circuit of the Americas caught them out.
The asphalt is undeniably rough and teams needed to adjust their ride height up. Failure to do so adequately, meant contact with the track filed away Hamilton’s plank to a degree that the scrutineers found to be illegal in their post-race tests.
Mercedes team principal Wolff said: ‘Set-up choice on a sprint weekend are always a challenge with just one hour of free practice and even more so at a bumpy circuit like COTA and running a new package.
‘In the end, all of that doesn’t matter. Others got it right where we got it wrong, and there’s no wiggle room in the rules.
‘We need to take it on the chin, do the learning, and come back stronger next weekend in Mexico.’
Hamilton finished second but was disqualified due to his car being too low to the ground
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