Formula One - Mercedes now the underdogs, says Wolff

Clyde Nash
June 5, 2017

At the end of the day, it was the right result for the team and for the driver championship but I do not think it was orchestrated. We went back to this unknown scenario we are in, which happens to be, it's okay on one vehicle and not okay on mine. "This is the new reality at the moment".

However, echoing the post-race views of his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff believes Ferrari's pitwall could not have known before pitting Raikkonen that the "overcut" would prove so powerful for Vettel.

But it was shrouded in controversy.

"It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver", said Hamilton, who finished seventh and is now 25 points adrift.

Mercedes trail Ferrari in the constructors' championship by 17 points and the team's director of motorsport, Toto Wolff, backed his driver in confirming the team had to analyse why their vehicle was not handling the tyres as well as Ferrari.

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But Hamilton said he would not be asking Mercedes to favour him in the same way over team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

'It turned out to be OK on Valtteri's auto but not great on mine. "Valtteri has been doing a great job and don't feel like we have to favour one over the other".

"It is really important we collectively work as a team more than ever before, as we have been, because our work is to beat the Ferraris in the constructors' but there might be some things along the way positioning-wise that might become valuable. I am very happy but I can understand why Kimi is a bit more upset". "We've just got to make sure we're ahead of them so we don't need to be in the same scenario".

Despite the setback, Hamilton, who has won only two races this season to Vettel's three, saw the glass as half full.

"They deserved to win because they had the quickest auto out there", said Wolff. "Because the underdog is the one that people want to see win". "As a matter of fact, I think we have been since the beginning of the season".

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"We have been dropping in and out of the "tyre window" and never had two cars within that window over the course of whole weekend".

It was the second race weekend of the season where Hamilton has struggled with his car's handling and he recognised something had to change. But as I said we will regroup.

"They are pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will maximise on all of his weekends", the Briton continued. The leading auto, it is very hard for him to get jumped unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle, so it's great for him [Vettel].

"The Ferrari seems to work everywhere and these next 14 races are going to be very, very hard", he added.

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