Toto Wolff offers Lewis Hamilton sailing proverb as title bid hits choppy waters

Toto Wolff says a troubled start to the 2022 season has “lit a fire ” within Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and every member of the Mercedes team.

And Wolff has again admitted Hamilton was let down by the team in the last race in Imola, but stopped short of saying things would get better in Miami this weekend. “Both drivers have been working in the simulator ahead of Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the next races,” said the Mercedes team principal.

“But the saying ‘smooth seas do not make good sailors’ comes to mind. This team has shown its resilience over many years and the difficult start to the season has lit a fire within every team member, determined to put it right.”

At Imola, Russell finished a highly creditable fourth but Hamilton trailed in an embarrassing 13th. Wolff said: “It was a very difficult weekend for us in Imola. George did a great job to finish P4 from an unpromising starting position but with Lewis, we didn’t give him the tools or track position to show his true pace.

“Since we returned from Italy, we have learned as much from the week as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations. We have found several directions for improving the car and we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations and, hopefully, confirm the development path for the coming races.”

And even though Mercedes are extremely unlikely to be fighting for a victory on Sunday, Wolff is looking forward to a landmark weekend in South Florida. He said: “Miami is an exciting new challenge and a complete step into the unknown.

“The track looks demanding, with a real mix of low and high-speed corners, and it’s set to be a spectacular showcase for the sport to our growing US fanbase. So, we are set for a fantastic event and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.”

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