F1

Mercedes performance and Lewis Hamilton error at Azerbaijan Grand Prix ‘just not acceptable’, says Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton’s error compounded a frustrating weekend for Mercedes

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said his team’s performance at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was “just not acceptable” after neither of his drivers scored a point in a dramatic race in Baku.

Lewis Hamilton looked set to benefit from title rival Max Verstappen’s sudden tyre failure with only a few laps to go, but the defending world champion mistakenly switched off his brakes at the restart, causing him to fall from second to 15th.

Mercedes had been suffering from a lack of pace in practice, eventually fixing the issue ahead of qualifying, but it did not help Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas who was out of contention all weekend and also finished outside of the top 10.

While the top of the drivers standings remained unchanged, Sergio Perez’s win for Red Bull saw the team extended their lead in the constructors to 26 points.

A frustrated Wolff demanded his team to improve ahead of the French Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, following another sub-par display in Monte Carlo last month which saw Mercedes blow their chances in the pit lane.

“What I take away is we must bring our A game to fight for this championship, and our car was not there all weekend,” Wolff said.

“Operationally we just need to perform faultlessly and all of us haven’t done that the last two weekends.

“We just need to be the best of us, the best that we have, and we haven’t given the drivers a competitive package this weekend – far from it.

“It is not only the incident at the end that frustrates, it is overall not meeting our expectations, all of us together – Lewis, the engineers, myself, everyone in the team.

“There’s just so much we need to improve that I just want to get on it right now to make sure we are able to compete for this championship.

“Because we can’t continue losing points like we did in Monaco and here. It’s just not acceptable, for all of us.”

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