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. Tuesday 23 September 2014

  2. Winners and Losers at the Singapore Grand Prix 08:32

    Winners and Losers at the Singapore Grand Prix

    The 2014 edition of the Singapore Grand Prix was a slow burner but nonetheless vitally important in the context of the...

    F1
  3. Video of the Day: McLaren outside Formula 1 05:03

    Video of the Day: McLaren outside Formula 1

    Find out how McLaren Applied Technologies is shaping lives away from the circuit.

    F1
  4. Monday 22 September 2014

  5. Boullier questions Red Bull radio messages 15:48

    Boullier questions Red Bull radio messages

    Eric Boullier reckons Red Bull issued coded messages to Daniel Ricciardo in the Singapore Grand Prix. In the run up to...

    F1
  6. Russian Grand Prix circuit officially opened 14:08

    Russian Grand Prix circuit officially opened

    The Sochi Autodrom, location for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix, was officially opened on Saturday. Russian Prime...

    F1
  7. Red Bull not yet considering team orders 11:11

    Red Bull not yet considering team orders

    Red Bull says it is not yet considering team orders, despite Daniel Ricciardo keeping himself within touching distance of...

    F1
  8. Video: 360-degree onboard with Buemi in Assen 10:18

    Video: 360-degree onboard with Buemi in Assen

    Sébastien Buemi put a Red Bull Formula 1 car through its paces in front of 82,000 spectators last month, as part of the...

    F1
  9. Caterham encouraged despite Kobayashi non-start 10:16

    Caterham encouraged despite Kobayashi non-start

    Caterham Team Principal Manfredi Ravetto says he is encouraged by the outfit's performance in the Singapore Grand Prix, even...

    F1
  10. Gutiérrez: Almost impossible to achieve good results 09:40

    Gutiérrez: Almost impossible to achieve good results

    Esteban Gutiérrez says it is almost impossible for Sauber to achieve good results after the Mexican slumped to his sixth...

    F1
  11. Video: Rosberg reflects on Singapore retirement 09:35

    Video: Rosberg reflects on Singapore retirement

    Nico Rosberg looks back on his short-lived Singapore Grand Prix; after starting from the pit lane and retiring amid...

    F1
  12. Wolff admits Mercedes needs better reliability 08:58

    Wolff admits Mercedes needs better reliability

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted that the squad needs to improve its reliability as the championship fight enters its...

    F1
  13. Mattiacci upbeat over Ferrari progress in Singapore 07:34

    Mattiacci upbeat over Ferrari progress in Singapore

    Ferrari Team Principal Marco Mattiacci says he is confident that his squad is improving following its showing in the...

    F1
  14. Video of the Day: UPS delivers special Ferrari 05:03

    Video of the Day: UPS delivers special Ferrari

    UPS delivered a special F1 car, made of bark and fittonia, to Singapore. Representing Ferrari's partnership with the...

    F1
  15. 03:04

    Championship standings after Singapore

    F1
  16. Sunday 21 September 2014

  17. Alonso rues timing of Safety Car deployment 18:54

    Alonso rues timing of Safety Car deployment

    Fernando Alonso was left to rue the timing of the Safety Car as he raced to fourth position in the Singapore Grand...

    F1
  18. Bottas links late slump to power steering 17:53

    Bottas links late slump to power steering

    Valtteri Bottas says an issue with his power steering system contributed to his tumble down the order in the Singapore Grand...

    F1
  19. 17:45

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Singapore

    F1
  20. Force India reclaims fifth from McLaren 17:31

    Force India reclaims fifth from McLaren

    Force India boss Vijay Mallya was suitably elated after his team moved ahead of McLaren in the battle for fifth in the...

    F1
  21. Magnussen treated for burns after scoring point 17:05

    Magnussen treated for burns after scoring point

    Kevin Magnussen was treated for burns by doctors after the McLaren driver battled to 10th place at the Singapore Grand...

    F1
  22. Vergne fights back to earn best result of season 17:05

    Vergne fights back to earn best result of season

    Outgoing Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne recorded his best finish in over a year as he battled to sixth in the Singapore...

    F1
  23. Vettel questions timing of Hamilton move 16:35

    Vettel questions timing of Hamilton move

    Sebastian Vettel reckons Lewis Hamilton took more risks than he needed to when passing him during Sunday's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  24. Hamilton hails 'clean' Singapore weekend 16:13

    Hamilton hails 'clean' Singapore weekend

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was pleased after a "clean" Singapore Grand Prix weekend culminated in him taking a vital...

    F1
  25. Rosberg urges Mercedes to improve reliability 15:51

    Rosberg urges Mercedes to improve reliability

    Nico Rosberg has urged Mercedes to improve its reliability after his costly retirement from Sunday night's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  26. 15:27

    In full: Singapore Grand Prix race result

    F1
  27. Hamilton takes title lead with Singapore win 15:10

    Hamilton takes title lead with Singapore win

    Lewis Hamilton moved into the lead of the championship with a commanding victory in Sunday night's Singapore Grand Prix,...

    F1
  28. 12:35

    Follow the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix live!

    F1
  29. Video: Hill, Herbert become mechanics 10:44

    Video: Hill, Herbert become mechanics

    Watch as Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert become Marussia mechanics for a practice session in Singapore.

    F1
  30. 10:42

    Photos: Historic F1 race in Singapore

    F1
  31. Hamilton: Rosberg relations 'back to normal' 10:41

    Hamilton: Rosberg relations 'back to normal'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says that his relationship with team-mate Nico Rosberg is 'back to normal' following the...

    F1
  32. Grosjean hits out at Renault problems 07:02

    Grosjean hits out at Renault problems

    Romain Grosjean has hit out at continual Renault problems, which he says are having a negative impact on the morale of his...

    F1
  33. 06:32

    Photos: Special helmets for Singapore

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: Formula 1's Safety Car 05:03

    Video of the Day: Formula 1's Safety Car

    There has never been a Singapore Grand Prix without the appearance of Formula 1's Safety Car. Ahead of the night race,...

    F1
  35. Pérez sure of Force India race recovery 01:04

    Pérez sure of Force India race recovery

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez says he is sure that he can recover from a lowly grid spot and notch up a top 10 finish in...

    F1
  36. 00:35

    Starting grid for the Singapore Grand Prix

    F1
  37. Saturday 20 September 2014

  38. Massa encouraged by Williams improvements 18:32

    Massa encouraged by Williams improvements

    Felipe Massa says he is encouraged by the progress which Williams has made since Friday's practice sessions after qualifying...

    F1
  39. 17:25

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Singapore

    F1
  40. Magnussen seeks help from Safety Car 17:24

    Magnussen seeks help from Safety Car

    Kevin Magnussen says he is hoping to see the Safety Car called into action during Sunday evening's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  41. Alonso hopeful of fighting for victory 17:09

    Alonso hopeful of fighting for victory

    Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso is hopeful that he will be able to challenge for victory during Sunday's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  42. Vettel reckons pole position was possible 16:42

    Vettel reckons pole position was possible

    Sebastian Vettel feels he could have had a shot at claiming pole position in Singapore with a cleaner final qualifying...

    F1
  43. Rosberg ruing late change of brakes 16:16

    Rosberg ruing late change of brakes

    Nico Rosberg was left to rue a change of brakes after Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton beat him to pole position in...

    F1
  44. Hamilton pleased to recover from early error 15:57

    Hamilton pleased to recover from early error

    Lewis Hamilton says he was pleased with his recovery after an early error threatened to ruin his final qualifying attempt in...

    F1
more news