Wolff absolves Hamilton of blame for pitlane crash – “No one has a crystal ball”

Toto Wolff has absolved Lewis Hamilton of any blame for the pitlane crash that happened during the Russian GP qualification.

Hamilton topped the charts during Q1 and Q2, and looked set to take pole position at Sochi. However, everything fell apart when the seven-time champion damaged the front wing of his car.

This saw him reduced to being a spectator as George Russell, Carlos Sainz and pole sitter Lando Norris all did better than him.

Moreover, Hamilton ended up spinning in the final minutes of qualifying, and that all but hammered the final nail in the coffin. These crucial errors meant Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas qualified fourth and seventh respectively, and that means Mercedes failed to capitalise on a Red Bull disasterclass.

Wolff absolved Hamilton of any blame for the pitlane crash that happened during the Russian GP qualification, saying there is still all to play for on Sunday.

As quoted from Formuel1.nl, the Team Principal said, “I don’t think this is a situation where you can say ‘we made a mistake’.

Toto Wolff: Lewis Hamilton shouldn't base his future on me
Wolff (left) defended Hamilton (right) for the pitlane crash. Source: planetf1.com

“It is also not the case that the drivers played a role in this. Even if Lewis hadn’t hit the wall, we wouldn’t have had time for that. That’s why I don’t want to talk about mistakes.

“No one has a crystal ball. It’s a shame because this cost us first and second on the grid. Lewis can definitely still win from his starting spot, so that should be the goal as well.” 

Strategic options

Mercedes will have to make up a few places and get past McLaren, Sainz and Russell if they want to handicap Red Bull going into the race after this one. This opportunity will not come again for them this season, and they have to maximise it and take some crucial points home.

Hamilton is still looking for his 100th win in F1. He will need to get past Russell, Sainz and Norris to get there, and that is easier said than done. Nevertheless, if there is one man you can’t count out in F1 today, it is the Mercedes driver.

Read more: Wolff denies being unhappy with Albon’s move to Williams – “We didn’t even want to interfere!”

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