The Mercedes team was left disillusioned after last Sunday’s Grand Prix of São Paulo. The German racing team knew that it would be difficult to win the race, but the team wanted to at least score a podium at the Interlagos circuit. Now James Allison, Mercedes’ technical director, and the team must discover what exactly went wrong in Brazil to end the last two races this season on a positive note.
Last year, Mercedes achieved its last victory during the Grand Prix of São Paulo. However, last weekend the German racing team was nowhere. Lewis Hamilton finished eighth and George Russell had to abandon his race early. “It would have been too much to think that we could follow up on last year’s victory, but I really expected that we could fight for the podium,” says Allison on the F1 Nation podcast. “I really never expected that we would have such a terrible race.”
“It’s somewhat reassuring to think that we probably just did something wrong,” the technical director continues. Last season it was Red Bull Racing that failed to get the car setup right during the sprint race weekend in Brazil. Mercedes now has two races left to consolidate second place in the championship. ‘We just have to find out what we did wrong and try to prevent that. In addition, the great thing about races is that we can have problems again in a few weeks.’
Rear tires are Mercedes’ biggest problem
During the race, Hamilton in particular complained about the car, while Russell doubted the strategy. Allison takes the drivers’ feedback to heart, because he understands that the car was difficult to drive. ‘The biggest problem this weekend was the rear tyres. These overheated and therefore wore out faster. In addition, we had a lot of understeer. If you combine that, it is very easy to eat the tires with every steering movement,” said the Brit.