Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were told it was “critical” to avoid restrictions at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix and while Mercedes has applied solutions to alleviate the problem in the brief switch between races, the team principal, Toto Wolff agrees that both drivers will need to try to avoid corners when the same track hosts the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday …
Speaking to our F1 Nation podcast after the first race, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explained that electrical noise interfered with various systems, causing gearbox problems that forced drivers to stay away from the famous curves of the Red Bull Ring.
Wolff admitted that it will be difficult to avoid the curbs all the time, particularly as the team expects a big threat from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who starts second behind Hamilton, and that they need to find a way to minimize contact. .
“Well, there will be laps where there is no chance not to use them,” Wolff said. “Whether Max is leading or behind us, it will not be possible to simply navigate around avoiding the curbs.
“It is about constantly massacring suspension, which is something that will give us a headache, so once we have established ourselves in our positions, we will try to avoid restrictions. It is a very specific issue in Austria.”
Bottas said Friday, after the team ran sensors to monitor and see if the problem reappeared, that he fully trusts the team to find a solution, but admitted that he and Hamilton may have to drive differently on Sunday.
The Finn, who won the race at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, will start fourth on the grid, having struggled to put on tire temperatures as his right front brake was “satin” throughout the session. .