Toto Wolff apologised to Lewis Hamilton for an ‘undrivable’ Mercedes and admitted the team ‘are not good enough’ for the former world champion.
Hamilton has seven world titles and came agonisingly close to an eighth at the season finale last season, but at the start of this campaign the performances have been so disastrous that Hamilton has already publicly given up on challenging for the title.
While teammate George Russell did well enough to take fourth place at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton was left stuck in 14th for almost all of the race, was involved a small collision in the pits with Esteban Ocon, and also suffered an undercut from two drivers.
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Immediately after the end of the race, team principal Wolff contacted Hamilton over the team radio and said: "Sorry for what you have had to drive today, I know this is undrivable and not what we deserve to score the result. We move from there, but this was a terrible race."
Hamilton replied: "No worries, Toto. Let's keep working hard."
Speaking to Sky Sports later, Wolff stated: "George really drove well considering the car he had underneath.
"He had a car that was setup for the wet, and not for dry and he handled it... a really, really good drive.”
Turning to Hamilton, he placed no blame on his driver and discussed the problems they faced and what they would do in an attempt to resolve the car’s struggles.
"Yeah, really bad,” he began. “He got squeezed by the Alpine, the other two cars undercut and there's just no overtaking when you're in a DRS train. We saw from George what the car can do in free air but we are not good enough for a world champion, not worthy for a world champion. We just need to fix the car.
"I think we are going to look at things for Miami. I think we can make a step in the understanding of the car. It's another day, we just really need to understand more and bring development to the car which will fix the bouncing."
Hamilton himself said after the race: "A weekend to forget, that is for sure.
"I am out of the championship, for sure. There's no question about that. I will still keep working as hard as I can and pull it back together somehow."
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