Mercedes fear Red Bull Ring has exposed team’s ‘glass jaw’

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix exposed the team’s ‘glass jaw’.

The team laid down a marker to its rivals for the first race at the Red Bull Ring after topping every practice and qualifying session prior to Valtteri Bottas taking the win.

But the race was far from straightforward as Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were firmly advised to stay off the circuit’s kerbs as the vibrations from running over them caused problems with the gearbox sensors, as well as created suspension issues.

Addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the W11 going into this weekend’s second race in Austria, Wolff said: “I think that pace-wise we can be very happy, because straight from the get-go we were in a good place, and we were able to transfer that in a positive qualifying.”

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Wolff then added: “But in the race, we suffered a little bit from a, how you say in boxing, crystal chin [glass jaw]. Lots of punch, but a crystal chin.”

Pressed further on whether the issues had been resolved ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix, Wolff added: “Austria is very particular with the high kerbs and you can see in the slow-motion the vibrations that go through the suspension.

“That was one of the issues, and the other one that we saw, the wiring looms around the gearbox and inside the gearbox had quite some vibration, and basically rubbed onto each other.


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