Wolff: Team orders masking reliability issues

Wolff: Team orders masking reliability issues

31 July 2014 – Toto Wolff reckons the team orders controversy at the Hungarian Grand Prix has masked significant reliability problems at Mercedes that he is eager to address for the second half of the 2014 campaign.

After Sunday's race, the paddock focus was on Lewis Hamilton's refusal to move aside and let team-mate Nico Rosberg through, with the pair ultimately going on to take the chequered flag in third and fourth places.

But Wolff says the primary concern for the Silver Arrows moving forward should be providing both of its drivers with a reliable package, in turn allowing them to race freely in the battle for the Drivers' Championship.

"At the start of the season, [Executive Director, Technical] Paddy [Lowe] and I agreed a clear policy with the drivers that they are free to race for the win – as long as they are fighting for it," Wolff explained during a post-race interview with the official Mercedes website. "Equally, we have been clear that our priority as a team is always to give ourselves the best chance of winning the race – no matter which driver is fighting for it.

"The calls Paddy and the team on the pit wall made were completely in line with our policy. And so, our drivers will continue to be free to race for the remainder of the 2014 championship; and they will be racing to win.

"However, we should also be clear-sighted about the situation: this debate about team orders is obscuring our real problem at the moment, which is reliability. If we give the drivers the opportunity to use the full potential of the car on every lap, then we have the performance to race at the front of the field – and they will be free to race for the win without external factors playing a role. We haven't done that recently and that has given us some headaches. But those problems can be avoided if we do a better job."

Wolff has admitted that both Rosberg and Hamilton came close to retiring from the Hungaroring race.

"It was nerve-wracking. With each car, there was a point when we didn't think they could finish," he said.

"For Nico, it was behind the first Safety Car when it looked like the brake system had failed. With Lewis, it was when he started losing fuel pressure – and power – as he was running behind Fernando [Alonso], with Nico closing in. We were hoping he could make it to the finish – but we expected the problem would be terminal."

Wolff added that Hamilton's qualifying fire was caused by a localised fatigue failure in a high-pressure fuel hose, although the precise reasons behind this fatigue are still being investigated at the team's Brackley base.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Monday 27 April 2015

  2. 17:42

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Details of Márquez's training crash emerge 17:30

    Details of Márquez's training crash emerge

    Further details regarding the finger injury suffered by Marc Márquez have emerged. Repsol Honda rider Márquez underwent…

    MotoGP
  4. Video: Max Verstappen's rise to Formula 1 14:45

    Video: Max Verstappen's rise to Formula 1

    Follow Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen's journey to Formula 1 in this Red Bull documentary. Originally published in six parts…

    F1
  5. Formula E set for brake, suspension upgrades 14:27

    Formula E set for brake, suspension upgrades

    Formula E chassis manufacturer Spark Racing Technology is planning to introduce brake and suspension upgrades for the second…

    FE
  6. Williams reports substantial loss for 2014 09:58

    Williams reports substantial loss for 2014

    Williams Grand Prix Holdings has reported a sizeable loss of £34.3m for 2014, although the company is adamant that its…

    F1
  7. Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 3 05:07

    Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 3

    Marcus Ericsson goes on a tour of the Sauber factory in Hinwil, in the third part of the team's documentary.

    F1
  8. Sunday 26 April 2015

  9. Newgarden gets maiden win at thrilling Alabama GP 22:55

    Newgarden gets maiden win at thrilling Alabama GP

    Josef Newgarden has won the first race of his Verizon IndyCar Series career in thrilling fashion at Barber Motorsports Park.…

    Indy
  10. Todt and delegates safe after Nepal earthquake 15:31

    Todt and delegates safe after Nepal earthquake

    The FIA has confirmed that its delegates – including President Jean Todt – are safe and accounted for after an earthquake…

    F1
  11. Schumacher Jr. wins on debut F4 weekend 15:00

    Schumacher Jr. wins on debut F4 weekend

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, has taken the first single-seater victory of his career in…

    Misc
  12. Button sets personal best at London Marathon 14:42

    Button sets personal best at London Marathon

    McLaren driver Jenson Button set his new personal best time at the London Marathon on Sunday. Button, running for Cancer…

    F1
  13. 13:48

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Aragón

    FR 3.5
  14. Vaxivière beats de Vries at wet Aragón 13:45

    Vaxivière beats de Vries at wet Aragón

    Lotus driver Matthieu Vaxivière claimed a last-gasp victory over Nyck de Vries during a wet second race of the weekend at…

    FR 3.5
  15. Feature: What's gone wrong for Red Bull? 09:27

    Feature: What's gone wrong for Red Bull?

    Red Bull has endured its worst start to a season since emerging as a credible force in 2009. There is one pressing area where…

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Button in tricycle race 05:22

    Video of the Day: Button in tricycle race

    McLaren-Honda driver Jenson Button takes on BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James in a tricycle race.

    F1
  17. Saturday 25 April 2015

  18. Castroneves outruns the rain to win Alabama pole 23:08

    Castroneves outruns the rain to win Alabama pole

    Hélio Castroneves put in a quick lap early in the third qualifying session to beat the oncoming rain (and his team-mates) to…

    Indy
  19. Márquez has surgery for finger injury 20:36

    Márquez has surgery for finger injury

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez has undergone successful surgery to treat a fracture of his little finger on his left…

    MotoGP
  20. Daly gets Schmidt seat for Indianapolis 14:29

    Daly gets Schmidt seat for Indianapolis

    Conor Daly will make a return to the Indianapolis 500 this year after signing a deal to race for Schmidt Peterson…

    Indy
  21. 14:20

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Aragón

    FR 3.5
  22. Rowland wins FR3.5 opener at Aragón 14:18

    Rowland wins FR3.5 opener at Aragón

    Oliver Rowland claimed victory in the opening Formula Renault 3.5 race of the year at MotorLand Aragón despite not leading a…

    FR 3.5
  23. Hamilton named wealthiest UK sportsman 09:05

    Hamilton named wealthiest UK sportsman

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton has been named as the wealthiest sportsman in Britain in the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. The…

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Alonso on F1 journey 05:16

    Video of the Day: Alonso on F1 journey

    McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso discusses his Formula 1 journey with the BBC.

    F1
  25. Friday 24 April 2015

  26. Force India: Let teams choose tyre compounds 16:37

    Force India: Let teams choose tyre compounds

    Force India's Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer, has suggested that teams should be allowed to select their two preferred…

    F1
  27. Video: Tour of Monaco with Sam Bird 15:37

    Video: Tour of Monaco with Sam Bird

    Sam Bird takes you through a lap of Monaco ahead of the upcoming ePrix in the principality on May 9.

    FE
  28. Van der Garde's manager downplays Manor talk 14:05

    Van der Garde's manager downplays Manor talk

    Giedo van der Garde's management team has played down talk of a return to Formula 1 with Manor Marussia, insisting that although…

    F1
  29. Marko: Ricciardo of same calibre as Vettel 11:35

    Marko: Ricciardo of same calibre as Vettel

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has backed Daniel Ricciardo to lead the team's recovery, claiming that he is of the same calibre…

    F1
  30. Regalia, Comtec split after three days 10:22

    Regalia, Comtec split after three days

    Comtec Racing has been left without any drivers for the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5 season, after its recent deal…

    FR 3.5
  31. Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 2 05:12

    Video of the Day: Sauber's ReSTART - Part 2

    Marcus Ericsson gets to know Sauber in the second part of the team's special inside documentary.

    F1
  32. Thursday 23 April 2015

  33. Verstappen eager for swift points return 18:03

    Verstappen eager for swift points return

    Max Verstappen is keen to return to the points when Formula 1 arrives in Europe next month. The Toro Rosso rookie scored his…

    F1
  34. Lotus invites fans to Brands filming day 17:30

    Lotus invites fans to Brands filming day

    Lotus has invited fans to watch from the trackside at its Brands Hatch filming event on Monday. Race drivers Romain Grosjean…

    F1
  35. Horner: No short-term fixes for Red Bull 14:11

    Horner: No short-term fixes for Red Bull

    Christian Horner has conceded that there will be no short-term fixes for Red Bull this season, as the squad continues to…

    F1
  36. Vettel becomes ADAC Formula 4 patron 12:18

    Vettel becomes ADAC Formula 4 patron

    Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has been announced as a patron of the ADAC automobile club's new Formula 4…

    F1
  37. 10:41

    Photos: Red Bull's show run in Vienna

    F1
  38. Video: Ricciardo demos F1 car in Austria 10:36

    Video: Ricciardo demos F1 car in Austria

    Watch as Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo showcases the team's RB8 on the streets of Vienna, Austria.

    F1
  39. González set for IndyCar debut with Coyne 09:50

    González set for IndyCar debut with Coyne

    Ex-Formula 1 test driver Rodolfo González will make his IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne Racing at this weekend's Barber…

    Indy
  40. Video of the Day: Sauber's 'Ask the Driver' 05:06

    Video of the Day: Sauber's 'Ask the Driver'

    Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr answer questions posed by fans of the team.

    F1
  41. Wednesday 22 April 2015

  42. De Vries eyes McLaren seat for 2017 20:59

    De Vries eyes McLaren seat for 2017

    McLaren young driver Nyck de Vries has set his sights on securing a race seat with the Honda-powered Formula 1 outfit for the…

    F1
  43. Video: Formula E – the season so far 14:32

    Video: Formula E – the season so far

    Relive the first half of the inaugural Formula E season, which produced six different winners in six races.

    FE
  44. Pirelli confirms tyres for next four races 12:39

    Pirelli confirms tyres for next four races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has named its compound nominations for the upcoming Spanish, Monaco, Canadian and Austrian…

    F1
  45. Pedrosa 'responding well' after surgery 11:33

    Pedrosa 'responding well' after surgery

    Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa says he is "responding well" after undergoing surgery for his persistent arm pump issues earlier…

    MotoGP
  46. 10:04

    Gallery: Best photos from the Bahrain GP

    F1
more news