Wolff relieved to get back on track

Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in Sunday's French Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton on his way to victory in Sunday's French Grand Prix

Toto Wolff was happy to see the Mercedes AMG Petronas team get back on track in France.

Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s French Grand Prix at Circuit Paul Ricard but Brackley team-mate Valtteri Bottas failed to fully recover from a first lap incident and could only finish seventh.

I think what you saw in Montreal compared to Le Castellet is that marginal gains matter

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff

Wolff said: “I think what you saw in Montreal compared to Le Castellet is that marginal gains matter.

“We fell back in Montreal because we couldn’t bring the new power unit. We were racing the first power Uuit for the seventh consecutive race while the others had upgrades, so that certainly didn’t help.

“We’re also constantly learning how to set the car up in the right way in combination with the tyres. And, of course, we brought some upgrades for the car which was good to see coming together.

“All these gains in the respective areas added to a solid step which we could realise in just a few days in Le Castellet.”

While Hamilton enjoyed a more straightforward race to victory, Bottas found himself in last place at the end of the opening lap after being spun around by Sebastian Vettel.

He put in a determined recovery drive to seventh place, which was made all the more impressive by the amount of damage his car suffered on the first lap.

Wolff would not be drawn on whether the five-second penalty handed out to Vettel was enough but said: “The damage was quite extensive because it damaged the floor and Valtteri’s comments on the car was that it was shocking to drive afterwards. Taking that into account, it was a battling performance from him but it ruined his race.

“To be honest Sebastian misjudged the situation, took himself out of the race and lost valuable points. So, it bites them both.

“Whether five seconds is sufficient or not I don’t want to judge that. They both were last at that stage of the race so there was damage enough.”