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Wolff: Mercedes needs to sort out starts

2015-07-28 08:09

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: Mercedes will have plenty of time to work out what went wrong at the 2015 Hungarian GP as the next race, the Belgian GP, will be held on August 23. Image: AP / Phil Noble

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - For a second race in a row it all went wrong at the start for Mercedes in Hungary - and a rule change coming in after the August break will give the Formula 1 champion team even more to think about.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said in a frank assessment of the Hungarian GP debacle: "We just had another crappy start, which was the root cause of all the other stuff that came afterwards."

Mercedes has started all 10 races so far in 2015 on pole and won eight. On Sunday (July 26) it had no driver on the podium.

BEATEN BY FERRARI

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen scythed past Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg when the start lights went out, just as Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas did at Silverstone for Williams.

As it happened: 2015 Hungarian GP

Mercedes was left on the back foot in Hungary, triggering a chain reaction that left 2014 champion Hamilton - who also had a poor start in Austria - finishing sixth and Rosberg eighth while Vettel won.

Watch: Nico Rosberg's 2015 Hungarian GP wrap

Wolff said: "We need to get on top of the situation. It is not acceptable and it needs to be analysed why it happened. It has many various reasons, not one particular one." Wolff thought a clutch calibration problem was to blame, the cars suffering too much wheelspin.

The next race will be the 2015 Belgian GP and, to complicate matters, there will be restrictions on the amount of information teams can give drivers at the start... that could shake things up.

Ferrari technical head James Allison agreed that the opening seconds had been crucial: "If you get away well into free air, and you can have your race without compromise, it makes a lot of difference."

It certainly did for Hamilton who, ultimately, could only laugh at the string of blunders he made. He banged wheels with Rosberg, bumped across the gravel, collided with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and collected a drive-through penalty.

Nevertheless, he stretched his lead over team mate Rosberg to 21 points.

Hamilton said: "I don't remember a day like this. I just have to laugh at today, laugh at myself. When you make wrong decisions or make a fool of yourself sometimes, you just have to laugh it off.

"Considering how bad it was, the one thing I can take in my heart is I never gave up. I never threw my toys out of the pram and thought 'this is over'."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Fresh reports every day.


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