Mercedes poor starts are 'unacceptable', declares Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff "very concerned" Mercedes have lost lead at start of last two races; Jokes that move to give drivers more control of starts from Spa is "maybe better for us!"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 27/07/15 3:30pm
Mercedes’ spate of torrid starts have been branded “unacceptable” by team boss Toto Wolff, who is seeking answers for the team’s sudden problems at the lights.
For the second successive grand prix the world champions’ front-row lockout was immediately cancelled out at the start in Hungary on Sunday as the two Ferraris surged alongside, and then past, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg before the second corner.
Hamilton also experienced a problematic getaway from pole three races ago in Austria, allowing his team-mate to claim the lead. Up until the poor recent run, Mercedes drivers had experienced few poor starts since the team’s rise to F1 dominance and Wolff now wants to get to the bottom of why the situation has turned on its head.
"[I am] very concerned,” Wolff told reporters after the bad starts set the tone for the team’s shock lowly finish in sixth and eighth in Hungary.
“We got jumped by both Williams last time and jumped by two Ferraris this time and that triggered the whole mess.
“We need to get on top of the situation – it’s not acceptable. It needs to be analysed why that happens. It’s many various reasons, it’s not one particular, one but if you look at it – not good.”
Given the recurring issues, Wolff only half-jokingly suggested that the overhaul of the starting procedure for the next race in Belgium was “maybe better for us” despite the fact that the move towards more manual launches is expected to create more discrepancies in getaways through the field.
From Spa, drivers and their race engineers will no longer be able to adjust the car’s clutch bite point from the moment it leaves the pit lane for the first time on race day.
In any case, in the wake of their shock defeat to Ferrari on Sunday, Wolff acknowledged Mercedes’ poor run was having massive repercussions for them.
“It’s very difficult to get the calibration right and we had - at least I heard on the radio - two very good practice starts off the line but when it mattered on the actual race start it looked like we had too much wheelspin,” he explained.
“Then you get overtaken in a way you cannot recover.”
Don’t miss the F1 Midweek Report for all the analysis of the Hungarian GP. Reuters F1 correspondent Alan Baldwin and The Daily Telegraph’s Daniel Johnson join Natalie Pinkham in the studio. Catch it at 8:30pm on Wednesday July 29 on Sky Sports F1.