Toto Wolff quizzed on Mercedes issues as Lewis Hamilton raises concerns – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton split with Toto Wolff. F1 news July 2023.

A split image of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and team principal Toto Wolff. July 2023.

The fallout from the British Grand Prix has brought with it a fresh round of F1 news, and Mercedes’ upgrades are under the microscope.

Lewis Hamilton aired his concerns about the W14’s new parts for the weekend not putting them back in contention as he would have hoped, and team boss Toto Wolff was asked more widely about what it going on with the car as a result.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher and Sam Cooper

There’s a lot to get stuck into in the days after the British Grand Prix, so here’s what you need to know to catch up with it all.

Toto Wolff quizzed on Mercedes sidepod flaw

With Mercedes having taken substantial steps to change their car concept, work is still ongoing at the Silver Arrows to try and bring them closer to the front of the field.

With the zero-pods having been ditched for a more conventional sidepod inlet concept and Red Bull still holding a big lead at the front, while there will of course be more factors in play, he was asked if the team had a fundamental issue with that area of the car and why Mercedes have not taken a more Red Bull-style approach to it.

He told media including “We had the sidepod concept and the bodywork in the tunnel very early on already to see which avenues it would open up, and how much it would add to performance.

“And the relative loss of the downforce, the way we measure it, was substantial.”

Read more: Toto Wolff quizzed on whether Mercedes have a fundamental sidepod issue

Lewis Hamilton issues worrying verdict on W14 upgrades

Mercedes brought a new front wing with them to the British Grand Prix as part of their efforts to improve this season, but the wholesale changes at McLaren saw both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri catapult ahead of Mercedes in the competitive order at the weekend.

While Lewis Hamilton was able to find his way onto the podium, the Safety Car playing its part in helping cheapen his pit stop and gain places, the seven-time World Champion was still concerned by the effect, or lack thereof, the upgrades have had on his car.

“I think ultimately because we’d had a really bad race, obviously, in the previous week and we knew we had an upgrade coming here, so we were all very hopeful of the step that we were going to hopefully try to take this weekend and bring us in closer,” he told media including

“But to our disappointment it didn’t take us that step, unfortunately, and for us to be sixth than seventh just, ultimately, wasn’t a great feeling.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton gives worrying verdict on Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrade

Sergio Perez told to ‘sort his qualifying out’ by Christian Horner

Sergio Perez went out before Q3 for the fifth race in a row by qualifying 16th at Silverstone, and while team boss Christian Horner praised yet another recovery drive from the Mexican, he wants him to sort out his Saturday pace as soon as he can.

Perez recovered to sixth on Sunday but lost even more ground to race winner Max Verstappen, who now holds a whopping 99-point lead in the World Championship.

“It’s frustrating for him that he’s having to fight back all the time, but he’s just got to sort his qualifying out on Saturday and, as a team, we’ll do our best to support him on that,” Horner told media including at Silverstone.

“It’s just one of those things that I think, as in all sport, 90% of it is in the head, and I think that he just needs a good run and he’ll find his momentum again.”

Read more: Christian Horner puts pressure on Sergio Perez as barren Q3 run extends further

Big changes behind the scenes at Alpine

Bruno Famin has been promoted to become vice president of Alpine Motorsports, having previously been in charge of the team’s power unit division.

This is a key change mostly because it will see all motorsport team bosses, including Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, now report directly into him on a day-to-day basis regarding his work with the Formula 1 team.

Famin will now be placed between Szafnauer and the not-so-complimentary CEO Laurent Rossi, who made his feelings clear on how his team was doing earlier in the season in a forthright manner but slamming the team’s “amateurishness” and “mediocre, bad” performances.

Read more: Alpine announce key appointment to oversee F1 team following restructure

Ferrari hit back at George Russell complaints

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur took a withering view of George Russell complaining about Charles Leclerc’s defending against him during the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Russell took to team radio to bemoan Leclerc “moving under braking” while the two duelled over fourth place on the road in the early stages, but when asked about it, Vasseur’s response was a blunt one: “Yeah, I can show you some action of the beginning of the season,” he quipped to media including at Silverstone. “He did also good ones. That’s life.”

Read more: Ferrari fire back at George Russell after complaints about Charles Leclerc