Toto Wolff, Mercedes Formula 1 boss, equates the crane revealing Lewis Hamilton’s car floor design in Monaco to circus act “Cirque du Soleil”.
Hamilton crashed into barrier in the final practice on Saturday, leading to a red flag halting the practice. During W14 recovery, the recovery unit raised the car multi storeys high which enabled photographer to collect underbody designs through the lens.
Regulation shift in 2022 drove the teams toward efficient floors. Because the engineers associate 60% car performance to the floor design.
Therefore, the floor designs remain guarded secret for other teams. For guarding the design, teams have particularly designed covers to keep the floor layout hidden during recovery.
The Brit car recovery has enabled rival team’s aerodynamicists to analyse its floor design. The incident happened soon after the Mercedes introduced heavy updates for its car. However, Wolff laughed off the concerns regarding design revelations and jokes that “Cirque du Soleil” must be around.
The Austrian said: “Well, whoever performed the crane has probably worked for Cirque du Soleil.
“Honestly, that I don’t even comprehend. The car was on the road.
“You could have put it on a truck. You’re showcasing a car to everyone in the world.
“That was suboptimum for us, to say the least.”
Wolff explained his comments and appreciated the marshals, who he claimed that “everybody is doing their best”.
Sergio Perez crashed in Q1 at Sainte Devote, revealing Red Bull floor. However, Wolff noted that RB19 remained flat during recovering which has limited the design revelations. He insists that W14 inclined rearwards due to its weight balance. It revealed more car details compared to Red Bull.
He said: “They are all from Cirque du Solei. Their car hangs straight. Ours was rear down!”
Highly upgraded W14 managed to retain sixth and eight position in qualifying. Hamilton remained dominant over his team mate George Russell.
Wolff admitted that upgrades has yielded the expected results. However, he acknowledged that the team is still lagging behind its rivals with no “good” show.
He said: “Sixth and eighth is not good.
“Three tenths off pole [set by Max Verstappen] with both drivers having less than positive Q3s is solid. It’s actually OK.
“With Lewis and George, if you would have put the last lap together, we would have played the top six. Maybe the top four. That’s OK.”