Mercedes 2017 F1 car a "diva", says Wolff

Toto Wolff has described Mercedes’ 2017 Formula 1 car as "a bit of a diva", after the team was left stumped for an answer about the wildly varying form between its drivers in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes 2017 F1 car a "diva", says Wolff
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Director of Motorsport, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

While Valtteri Bottas was able to secure third spot on the grid in Monte Carlo, Lewis Hamilton failed to make it out of Q2 as problems getting his tyres into the right operating window proved costly. He will start 13th.

With the Mercedes finding its W08 very fast but tricky to find the set-up sweet spot for, Wolff says his team is working hard to find ways to make it more benign.

“You can say there is certain DNA in a car, and I think we have proved our car can go very quick in qualifying and in the race,” explained the Mercedes motorsport boss. “But it seems to be more a bit of a diva to get it into the right window.

“You can see it’s probably marginal differences that make it drop out of the window, and we just need to get on top of this.

"We have a great team, that has shown in the past their strength in analysing data and finding out how to put it on the track on Friday, and then develop it over the weekend. This is one of the outliers that we’ve had in the past.

“We’ve had it in Singapore for different reasons, but this is another one. It’s the second weekend that comes into my mind after three years or four years where we’ve struggled really badly from the get-go, from FP2, with set-up.”

Mercedes’ Monaco tyre woes come on the back of similar struggles at the Russian Grand Prix – and are a reminder of the difficult time the team had faced at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.

But Wolff thinks it wrong to link all three events, as he suggests what happened in Singapore was something totally different - because throughout that whole weekend the team had failed to get its tyres working properly.

“It’s very tricky to get the tyres into the window and make the front axle work and at the same time make the rear axle work. And you can see that, on his lap, the car drops in and drops out, unfortunately mostly out of it.

“Singapore was a totally different issue which we understood after Singapore, and we came out on top. Here we seem to understand what’s happening, but how we went backwards during the weekend is not yet understood.”

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