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Lewis Hamilton’s Tense Talk With Toto Wolff As Mercedes Panicked Over Pace: ‘Crazy!’

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Mercedes enjoyed a positive weekend at Silverstone, with Lewis Hamilton securing his second podium finish of the season after a great three-way battle with Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc. But reports this week suggest Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff is still worried about his team’s prospects this season. He has dismissed the idea that last week’s podium finish means Mercedes will be as competitive in Austria this weekend. Earlier this week, Wolff said: “We were back in the game at Silverstone but that doesn’t mean it will be again [in Austria].

 

 

“On the soft, the car didn’t work well. We saw that the pace wasn’t there afterwards either, but if you don’t lose the place to [Sergio] Perez and overtake [Charles] Leclerc quickly with the old tyres, then we might have been able to race for victory. “But the start didn’t work out and then it was a chain reaction. It shows how quickly you change expectations.

 

 

“A few weeks ago, we said a third-place finish on our own would be great and today [at Silverstone] we could have taken a win. Therefore, yes, you have to take the positives.” Mercedes have been stressing about their performance for much of this season, and this was seen in the fourth race of the year at Imola. Hamilton was involved in a heated discussion with Wolff after a poor qualifying performance.

 

 

Despite Hamilton’s brilliant race last Sunday, he remains behind his teammate George Russell in the standings. Russell addressed this earlier in the week, saying he does not deem beating his teammate a success. He told The Guardian: “Obviously, I want to beat my teammate and I’m not going to take offence if he says the same. “But I would not see my season as a success purely because I’ve finished ahead of him more times than he had finished ahead of me. “I would see it as a success if I was standing at the top step of the pod.

 

 

Russell was involved in the huge crash at the start of last week’s British Grand Prix. As his Mercedes collided with the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese driver’s car flipped upside down before sliding more than 100 metres. His car smashed into a fence just metres away from spectators. Thankfully Zhou was not seriously injured. Russell left his car to check on his fellow driver, meaning he was then forced to retire from the race. The Briton has now urged the FIA to find ways to reduce the risk of drivers getting trapped in cars.

 

 

He said: “I think as drivers, we all know how, I wouldn’t say claustrophobic, but you are in there pretty tight. “You’ve got the helmet on, you’ve got the halo there, the headrest and then when you have got a tyre wall effectively on top of your head blocking your exit, hanging upside down, it’s just a horrible situation to be in. “It was horrifying to see him trapped in there, literally not being able to get out of the car. He was obviously fine, I could see he was moving. “There was a gap between the barriers and the catch fencing and he was obviously trapped in there. That needs to be resolved. It wasn’t nice, for sure. “From every disaster, there’s an opportunity to improve a sport. Clearly, things could have been positioned slightly differently to have given him that exit.”

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