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Hamilton and Bottas crashes karma for Mercedes - Wolff

LewisHamilton - cropped
Lewis Hamilton after crashing his Mercedes
Modified 28 Jul 2019, 23:42 IST

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said the team's woeful German Grand Prix was "karma" for getting distracted with celebrating 125 years of motorsport.

The Silver Arrows unveiled a special livery for their home race at Hockenheim, while Wolff and other team members in the garage donned 1950s-style outfits to commemorate their first Formula One race in 1954.

Lewis Hamilton started the race on pole but ended up finishing 11th – a costly crash from first place preceded a time penalty for entering the pit lane on the wrong side of a bollard and a bungled stop where Mercedes were not ready to change his damaged front wing and tyres.

Valtteri Bottas crashed out in the closing stages to compound a miserable outing for Mercedes, with Wolff suggesting they took their eye off the ball as Max Verstappen capitalised for his second win of the season.

"Overall, for us, it was a bad day, and, for the drivers, it was a bad day. It cannot go much worse," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"This shows that you shouldn't fool around with the staff. You should concentrate on the job. We are not superstitious, but we believe in karma and it's a day to learn.

"I think we had a decent start with good pace. Then you had incidents, crashing out in tricky conditions, the wrong calls."


On Hamilton's crash and pit stop, he added: "It was unfortunate. Crashing right at the entry of the pit lane, you are not prepared. We made the wrong calls afterwards. It was all coming together."

Reigning champion Hamilton had been struggling with illness and was pleased to see the back of the weekend.

"What a crazy race. This has been one of the most difficult races we've had as a team for a long time," said Hamilton.

"I thought I had the race under control, but we took a risk going out on slicks and the race fell apart from there. I went wide at turn 16 and it was like ice out there, then hit the wall and damaged my wing. I made a mistake and paid the price. I was in the lead and then finished P11.

"I'm not even sure how, but that's very painful and I'm just glad it's over. It's hard to perform when you're not at 100 per cent. I need to make sure I'm fit and healthy again in time for the next race.

"You live and you learn from days like this. It's important now that we regroup for Hungary."

Published 28 Jul 2019, 23:42 IST
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