Toto Wolff agrees that they will have to sit and talk with Lewis Hamilton about decisions, but doesn’t see it as a big problem in their long F1 careers.
The F1 Turkish GP disagreement on the radio between Hamilton and Mercedes pit crew added more to the drama of the 2021 season, which is going down to the wire, thanks to the fight put on by Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
The pressure of not losing any points is certainly on and Mercedes and Hamilton are doing as much to not succumb. Having taken the engine penalty in Turkey, the Brit was on a fight back mission and did pretty well to reach third spot in slippery conditions.
But a missed stop early in the race left them vulnerable in the latter stages, forcing their hand to pit late in the race to lose out on a possible podium finish. Hamilton early on decided not to pit and then had to when Mercedes called him with eight laps remaining.
The graining period on the second meant, it added to his misery and left him no time to fight back. It wasn’t entirely a breakdown between the two parties, but Hamilton wasn’t overly happy. Considering it has happened before, the trust needs to be full proof.
They are at a crucial stage of the season, but Wolff doesn’t see this as a big issue. He agrees that the communication needs to be worked upon, but the hard talk is not going to break relations, since they have been together for so long in the business.
“It is very difficult because the communication needs to flow in both directions and that’s crucial,” said Wolff to written media. “The pilot is the vital sensor on track that will tell you about the grip levels. But the pilot doesn’t see himself relative to the other drivers and the other performances.
“So that information we need to work on because we’ve had what Lewis called a ‘genius stroke’ in terms of strategy last time around and I think we just really need to work on the communication to trust each other and in a way be able to describe what we are aiming for. We have no problem at all with tough conversations on the radio before you have complete information and obviously, we wouldn’t speak like this to Lewis because he is driving the car at 320kmph.
“But that is all okay, so absolutely we are totally aligned. We have been together for eight years and we have thick skin enough to understand that a driver in the car is just frustrated about a situation but he will understand afterwards,” summed up Wolff.
For Hamilton, it isn’t a big issue as well. He concedes he is a risk taker and so he may have stayed out anyhow but he listened to his team, who have larger information than him on track. And the hard radio calls don’t affect the concentration in the car.
“It doesn’t affect the concentration, in that moment, I only have a certain amount of information and the team have other information, they see everyone else,” said Hamilton. “For me, it is just hard giving up when you don’t know the whole picture, so that’s why you have rely on your team and accept the choices that they make and hope that is the right one. As I always say, we win and lose as a team and so I listened to them in Turkey.”
Here’s Toto Wolff on reliability and performance
Here’s Mercedes on Turkey strategy and sole ICE change
Here’s Sergio Perez on fight with Lewis Hamilton
Here’s Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff on Turkey ICE change