Mercedes starts are ‘still a risk’

Date published: October 2 2016

Ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, Toto Wolff has admitted that getting the starts right is still a concern for Mercedes given their clutch issues.

Throughout this year's championship grand prix starts have been difficult for both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

The team-mates have spoken of their issues off the line which relate to the W07's clutch with Hamilton conceding that it is "not a quick fix."

Set to start Sunday's Malaysian GP first and second on the grid after locking out the front row, Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff has revealed that the starts are "still a risk" for his drivers.

"It is quite difficult for the driver to get it right," Wolff told Autosport.

"That is one of the areas for next year. We need to get on top of the issues and it's still a risk, yes.

"It's more visible for us when you're on the front of the grid and you screw it up as everybody sees that.

"It looks worse than it is. We have seen massive oscillations with our competitors – good starts, bad starts.

"But it is a very complex area – the interaction between the clutch, the clutch material, the architecture of the clutch, the handling for the driver, bite point, etc.

"I still believe it's an area we have room for improvement and all the engineers know that."

Mercedes will wrap up the Constructors' title at Sepang provided that Red Bull do not outscore them by more than eight points.