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Friday images from the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix
NEWS

F1 Austrian GP: Toto talks

Jul 012018

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport Team will have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their double disappointment in Austria with a successful home race at Silverstone this coming weekend.

There was simply no disguising the disappointment after Lewis Hamilton retired with a loss of fuel pressure while Valtteri Bottas’ race was ended with a hydraulic problem. It was the Silver Arrows first double-retirement due to mechanical issues since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.

Team principal, Toto Wolff, admitted afterwards that the result in Austria was "very, very cruel" as until Valtteri's problem they were running one-two in the race but the deployment of the virtual safety car caused a reshuffle in their race plans.

Here, Toto addressed the questions and the Silver Arrows' recovery plan for the British Grand Prix.

"...We need to try not to do it again and how to best avoid it and then get our mind back to Silverstone and race as good as we can then."

What was the thought process that was going on to not pit Lewis under the VSC?

"We made a mistake and what I think happened is that we were running one and two and controlling the race and suddenly you see Valtteri stopping with a hydraulic leak. The VSC came out we had half a lap to react and we didn't. Fact. This is where we lost the race."

Is engine reliability and issue, do it make you re-evaluate it?

"None of the issues today were to do with the reliability of the engine. We had a hydraulic leak that was linked to the steering on Valtteri and a drop in fuel pressure on Lewis's car, which was linked to the fuel system. So no regrets on introducing the engine."

Why not react in time to VSC? Were you distracted by Valtteri of did you get the call wrong?

"At that stage with the VSC, pitting is probably the 80% thing you need to do. With one car out there against two others the thinking process was what would happen if the other split their cars, if we pit Lewis we could come out behind Kimi Raikkonen or behind Max Verstappen and that while that thinking loop did no distract us, we spent too much time on it."

What's Lewis's mood like afterwards?

"So I will tell you what Lewis's mood was. We had a debrief because you have to stick to the protocol. He came on the radio and said I don't know how many are listening in Brixworth and Brackley but I cannot remember since I have DNF last time, this team has had the best reliability over the last years. This teams has had by far the fastest car in the race today and it is the best team I have driven, so we need to recover from this and I have no doubt we will come back stronger. That is his mindset."

What do you and the team have to do to recover in time for Silverstone, which is a huge race for the team?

"It is to jump on the plane and go to England and be in the factory at 8am and get everybody together and analyse what went wrong. We need to try not to do it again and how to best avoid it and then get our mind back to Silverstone and race as good as we can then."

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