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Toto Wolff: Ferrari did not show its ‘real’ pace in Hungary
Toto Wolff is convinced Ferrari did not show its “real pace” at the Hungarian Grand Prix, despite out-performing Mercedes and claiming a one-two finish.
“I don’t think we have seen their pace because Sebastian’s car was clearly damaged with the steering wheel hanging to the left and you can see that after Sebastian pitted when Kimi was in free air, he was setting very fast sector times.”
Wolff said he was “not in a happy place” as Mercedes instructed Lewis Hamilton to switch positions with Valtteri Bottas on the final lap, after a tactic agreed earlier in the race to try and challenge the leading Ferrari pair proved unsuccessful. He also admitted the call was the team’s most difficult decision in the last five years because of the impact it could have on the title fight.
When asked if Mercedes would consider changing its approach to the drivers’ championship after the summer break, Wolff replied: “These values made us win six championships, and is going to make us win more championships in the years to come. It cost us three points and it can potentially cost us the championship.”
Raikkonen: Small things will decide title race
With Ferrari and Mercedes locked in an intense tussle for this year’s F1 title, Kimi Raikkonen reckons it is the “small things” that will make the difference.
“It depends on which tyres we have, what weather conditions we’re going to face, lots of things, small things that make a difference,” he said.
“Now we take the holiday and see what happens in Spa, but if you look at it now, it’s not going to be as easy for us there as it was in Hungary. We obviously try to improve and hope to be quick there too.”
He added: “For sure there are some circuits that suit us better.
“There are areas where we have to improve, especially in qualifying, where Mercedes has better horsepower, but it depends on many things.
“You cannot purely look at the layout of the circuit and say “this is going to be good for us” or “this is going to be good for them.”
Honda change of concept bigger challenge than expected
Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa has acknowledged that the manufacturer’s change of engine concept last winter has been more difficult than expected.
“From the concept point of view, yes, we underestimated it,” Hasegawa toldMotorsport.com.
“Although it took a bit of time to stabilise, we understand it was a stage we had to overcome – it was very tough. We thought we had enough preparation time, which is why we started this year’s engine development in May, but one year is not enough. Theoretically speaking, we have already achieved some good steps. We are in the middle of our target but we need more steps to catch the top runners.”
“We know the target, which other teams have already achieved,” Hasegawa said.
“We know most of the teams are using the same concept of our engine but obviously we don’t know the exact solution, the exact design, the same level of performance we can achieve. But we know the direction and we know some elements to achieve that performance, but we still have not concluded what elements we have to introduce. [We are focusing] mainly the combustion but also every area, such as fuel consumption, auxiliary parts – everywhere we’re trying to find more horsepower.”
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