Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff agrees with Max Verstappen that the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc were caused by the sprint format, and he stated that he would not have done anything differently in hindsight.
‣ Toto Wolff agrees with Max Verstappen on the disqualifications being due to the sprint format
‣ Mercedes did not take a risk in the US Grand Prix, the disqualification was a result of the sprint format
‣ The new floor and increased downforce played a role in the disqualification
‣ More teams would have been disqualified if more cars had been checked
In a recent interview, Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes, expressed his agreement with Max Verstappen’s views on the disqualifications of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in the US Grand Prix. According to Wolff, these disqualifications were a direct consequence of the sprint format and the team wouldn’t have done anything differently in hindsight. He made this statement during an interview in Mexico.
The disappointment for Mercedes was palpable at the US Grand Prix when Hamilton’s car was disqualified after a brilliant second-place finish. Despite making significant progress in closing the gap with Verstappen in the last few laps, it all amounted to nothing. When asked whether Mercedes took a risk in Austin, Wolff adamantly replied in the negative.
Explaining the reason for the disqualification, Wolff pointed to the flaws in the sprint races format. He revealed that they were aware of pushing the limits during the qualifying sprint and even had a new floor that enhanced downforce. However, the high-speed laps without the Drag Reduction System (DRS) contributed to damaging the floor. The team seemed to be taking a calculated risk, but it didn’t pay off.
Wolff’s views aligned with Verstappen’s argument that Mercedes didn’t intentionally breach the regulations. Additionally, Wolff mentioned that other teams had similar feedback about the possibility of facing disqualifications if more cars had been subjected to scrutiny. It seems the update to the Mercedes car played a role in the degraded floor, indicating that it generated more downforce, but introducing it in Austin was definitely a risk.
Despite the disappointment, Wolff stated that he would make the same decision again. He would prefer the disqualification while running for a race win and showcasing strong performance rather than finishing 3rd and being far behind. The incident at COTA has made the team more cautious moving forward.
Overall, Toto Wolff’s agreement with Max Verstappen’s perspective sheds light on the impact of the sprint format on the recent disqualifications. It seems that the risk taken by Mercedes didn’t pay off, but the team would still make the same decision given the circumstances.