Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton’s luck will change soon and see the momentum shift towards him from teammate George Russell.
Hamilton scored a podium in the opening race of the season, but since then Russell has taken the edge in qualifying, and also gained advantages over his teammate after several Safety Car interruptions. Russell continued his run of top-five finishes in the Monaco Grand Prix, but Wolff insists that the younger driver is getting more performance out of the car is not the norm, and that he expects to see Hamilton get his share of good fortune.
“I think when you look at the bad spells that Lewis had, look at the race – stuck again, contact with Esteban (Ocon), stuck behind Fernando (Alonso), the red flag in qualifying – and we know what happened in the races before,” Wolff said.
“I think the pendulum will swing so that these unlucky situations stop with Lewis. They are very much on the same pace, one practice one leads, then the other one, and that is great how they work together in order for us to get our car straight. Because we need to get our car straight.”
The previous race in Spain saw Mercedes much more competitive than it has been at any stage this season, with Russell leading for a spell and Hamilton climbing through the field brilliantly to finish fifth after a first-lap puncture. But Wolff says regardless of how the performance dropped off again in Monaco, Mercedes still doesn’t have a car on par with Ferrari and Red Bull.
“The problem is that we can say ‘well this is a track where it’s going a little bit better like in Barcelona or a track where it’s worse like in Monaco’, but I think we are the third team,” he said. “We are not second and we are not fourth.
“We have two extremely strong drivers but it is a huge annoyance for all of us that the gap is about the same. If you’re looking at it over-optimistically it is 0.5s, if you are looking at it pessimistically it’s more 0.8s, and that is clearly for all of us at Mercedes not acceptable.”