Mercedes boss Toto Wolff points to ‘too many mistakes’ as Ferrari outshine Silver Arrows

Toto Wolff said Mercedes would need to look closely at what went wrong at the Singapore Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton finished in fourth.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said there were questions to answer after Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas failed to make the Singapore Grand Prix podium.

A frustrating race for the Silver Arrows saw Hamilton take fourth place and Bottas come home fifth, with Ferrari claiming a rare one-two at the Marina Bay Street Circuit through Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari have been the form team since the mid-season break, winning three consecutive races.

And although Hamilton remains the red-hot drivers’ championship favourite, with Mercedes comfortably clear in the constructors’ standings, Wolff believes the team left room for improvement in Singapore.

Bottas said the race, which was interrupted three times by spells behind the safety car, “felt like a long Sunday drive, just without air conditioning”.

Bottas also predicted Ferrari will again be strong at Sochi next time out, while Hamilton said everyone on the team needed “to do a better job”.

Team principal Wolff said: “It’s been a disappointing weekend for us and a lot of the issues in the race were created by our qualifying.

“But we also didn’t do a good enough job [in the race] and we can’t be satisfied with P4 and P5.”

He added: “I think we had a car capable for pole and we had an opportunity to win, but we made too many mistakes.

“We’re aware that we didn’t deliver to the standards that we set ourselves this weekend, so we will review it and see where we can improve for Russia.

“These tough days are the days that make us stronger. Sochi with its long straights will be a tricky race for us, so we need to make sure we get the best out of our package and get things right.”

 

The Russian Grand Prix on September 29 offers Mercedes a swift chance to make amends for their Singapore result, and Hamilton was confident they would find the answers required when the team analyse the latest performance.

Hamilton said on Sunday: “We made mistakes, but in this team, we win and we lose together.

“We don’t point the finger at people, that’s always been our philosophy and that won’t change because of one race.

“We’re fighting a Ferrari team who are super hungry and pushing very hard. It’s on each one of us to do a better job.

“I believe we’re the best team, but we’ve got to push on. We’ll debrief, put our heads back in the scrum, and then come back fighting at the next race.”

 

Mercedes paid a high price for leaving Hamilton out in front after his rivals had pitted.

Wolff said: “The undercut was more powerful than everyone expected and it would have been the right strategy call for us. Once we had missed the chance for the undercut, we were hoping to create some opportunity later in the race by offsetting our tyres, but that plan didn’t work.”

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