Toto Wolff has claimed that there is no ‘magic scew’ for Mercedes to turn and improve ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday following a miserable sprint race at Interlagos.
Mercedes had hoped to challenge Max Verstappen and Red Bull for victory in Brazil this weekend having claimed their only win of the 2022 campaign at Interlagos, but the Silver Arrows were given a rude awakening on Saturday.
After qualifying inside the top five, Russell and Hamilton climbed to P2 and P4 after the opening stages, but both drivers drowned relative to their close rivals as the sprint race progressed.
Russell managed to close out a P4 finish when the chequered flag waved at the Interlagos circuit on Saturday, while Hamilton dropped behind Charles Leclerc and Yuki Tsunoda on his way to P7.
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Discussing a miserable afternoon for the Silver Arrows, Wolff told Sky Sports F1: “I think we pushed very hard at the beginning, the car was not balanced right, and then you put in some sliding and it just killed the tyres.
“It’s what happened to George in Mexico. I think we had a little bit too weak of a rear end, and then obviously it’s balancing them on the knife’s edge. Trying to hold onto the pace was maybe something we need to learn for tomorrow, but a bruising day.
“I don’t think that there is a magic screw you can turn and then everything is fixed. It was very hot, everything went against us today. We need to really scratch our heads hard over what we can do for tomorrow, and improve.”
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Hamilton was particularly downbeat after his disappointing P7 finish in Brazil. Speaking with Sky Sports F1 after the race he explained: “It was horrible. It was not enjoyable whatsoever.
“I had a good start and then after that just struggled with the balance. A lot of understeer, then snap oversteer, and I was just fighting the car from very early on. Then I had no tyres in the end. I don’t really know how I’m going to fix that for tomorrow.”
Mercedes’ race pace put them somewhere between Aston Martin and AlphaTauri on Saturday, meaning Hamilton and Russell will have their work cut out to move forward on Sunday.
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