LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One champions Mercedes have no “magic bullets” to solve the problems that slowed Lewis Hamilton in Russia last month, but they are focusing on finding a solution, team boss Toto Wolff said on Monday.
Hamilton started and finished fourth in Sochi on April 30, ending a run of eight successive appearances on the podium. The triple world champion was left puzzling over “a very odd weekend”.
The Briton had complained of his Mercedes overheating from early on. He ended up finishing 36 seconds behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, who took the first win of his Formula One career.
“Lewis had a difficult weekend in both qualifying and the race,” Wolff said in a preview for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round of the season, in Barcelona.
“We have spent our time since then unpicking what happened to understand why we couldn’t get the car in the right window (of performance) so he could feel comfortable with it,” added the Austrian.
“There are no magic bullets to understanding that, just a lot of hard work and attention to detail. We must give him the tools he needs to do the job in the next races and that will be a big focus for us.”
Hamilton failed to finish in Spain last year after colliding with then-team mate Nico Rosberg at the start, a clash that allowed Red Bull’s Dutch teenager Max Verstappen to win.
This season, Ferrari and Mercedes have each won two races so far.
Wolff said Mercedes, who lead Ferrari in the constructors’ standings by a single point, needed to make plenty of improvements.
“The prevailing feeling is that there is lots of homework to do to come back stronger with a car that can perform on a consistent level every weekend,” he said.
“I have the feeling that we are moving in the right direction, but we need 24/7 shifts to achieve our ultimate targets.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Larry King