“When we go into this race, this week, we’re still learning about the car – we probably will be for the first four races at least,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got a lot of problems. As you have seen, everyone’s bouncing up and down.”
Mercedes’ extreme sidepod design caught the eyes of many at pre-season testing, but the developments haven’t worked so far. Toto Wolff, though, has vowed the reigning constructors’ champions will be doing everything they can to speed up the process in returning to the front.
“We were right in the middle of those fun games in the front and, talking as a Formula 1 stakeholder, benefitting from a great show that is really spectacular to look at,” he said. But, on the other side, [it] is extremely painful to be not part of those fun games – and by quite a chunk of lap time deficit.
“We’re not going to rest until we are back in the mix. But it’s no fun at all. [It’s an] exercise in humility and it’s gonna make us stronger, even though it’s not funny right now.”