With Lewis Hamilton still reeling from his second DNF in the first seven races of the season, while his teammate Nico Rosberg has yet to suffer a single race retirement, Mercedes bosses are adamant that the team is providing both drivers with a level playing field.
Speaking ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes Technical Executive Director Paddy Lowe said, “The performance of the car in Canada was once again very strong. Unfortunately, we were unable to fully capitalise on that performance in the race. We saw an extraordinary drive from Nico to salvage second place with malfunctioning machinery.”
“It was extremely unfortunate for Lewis that we were unable to manage the failure on his car to the same extent. This has once again created a sizeable points deficit for Lewis through no fault of his own. But, of course, we are doing our utmost to give both drivers the opportunity to compete for the Championship on equal terms,” insisted Lowe.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, echoed Lowe’s sentiments, say9ng, “It was just a case of extremely bad luck for Lewis who was forced to retire. Obviously, Nico now holds an increased gap at the top of the Championship, but Lewis is a fighter and I have no doubt that he will come back stronger than ever.”
“There is still a long way to go with twelve races remaining – thirteen if you count the double points round – so his challenge is far from over. This race shows how quickly things can change – not just between drivers, but between teams also – so we will be pushing harder than ever to ensure that we do not give away any more valuable points to our rivals,” added Lowe.
Canada revelaed the first chink in the Sliver Arrows armour, but Lowe has poured cold water on any ambitions that their rivals may have as the Formula 1 circus heads to Austria for the first time since 2003.
Lowe explained, “We put a significant amount of effort into understanding the problem that occurred in Canada and ensuring that there will be no repeat in Austria. We’re excited by the prospect of a return to Spielberg after many years away and hoping for a return to form results-wise.”
“It’s a short circuit with a lot of braking and high fuel consumption, so it will be another challenging race. The venue is also at high altitude which, owing to the low atmospheric pressure, places a different kind of duty on the Power Unit to what we’ve seen so far. It will be interesting to see how well both we and the competition respond to that,” concluded Lowe. (GP247)