Wolff: Mercedes German GP meltdown was ‘karma’

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes must re-stamp their authority at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes must re-stamp their authority at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff fumed that their miserable German GP was “karma” for getting distracted with their 125 years of motorsport celebrations.

The Silver Arrows ran a special livery to mark the occasion in Germany, while the team, Wolff included, wore their 1950s style race kit and dressed up the garage with memorabilia.

After Hamilton qualified on pole and got away well with Valtteri Bottas making it up to P2, Mercedes dominated the opening stages of the race, but it soon transcended into a disaster.

As the rain began to fall again Hamilton hit the wall in the stadium section with severe front-wing damage causing him to pit, but he didn’t follow the correct pit entry procedure around the bollard, resulting in a five-second time penalty.

The Championship leader would be sat for an eternity in the pits with the mechanics not ready for him, before he spun again later in the race.

Team-mate Bottas would shortly after spin in identical fashion, but he wasn’t so fortunate and slammed into the barriers to complete a horror-show Sunday for the home team.

Hamilton remains under further investigation for possible infringements behind the Safety Car, and Wolff believes all this is “karma” for Mercedes taking their eye off the ball with the celebrations.

“It shows you shouldn’t fool around with the staff,” an angry Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

You should concentrate on the job. We are not superstitious, but we believe in karma. It’s a day to learn.

“I think we have a decent start of the race, with good pace. Then you add the incidents, crashing out and tricky conditions, the wrong calls and this is when it all started to go wrong.”

Wolff understood the conditions were tricky, but he also labelled it as a “bad day” for Hamilton and Bottas.

“It was unfortunate crashing right at the entry of the pit lane,” he said of Hamilton’s crash.

“Obviously, we were not prepared and then we made the wrong call also afterwards. It was all coming together.

“Many others made the same mistake. Leclerc crashed and many others crashed. Overall it was a bad day, for the drivers it was a bad day. it simply cannot go much worse.”

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