JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Toto Wolff wouldn’t blame Lewis Hamilton for leaving Mercedes if the staff’s struggles proceed for one more yr or two.
Hamilton seems to be set for one more disappointing season this yr after Mercedes slipped additional behind Crimson Bull over the winter and behind its engine buyer Aston Martin.
Hamilton has received six of his seven titles with Mercedes, however his present contract expires on the finish of this yr.
Group boss Wolff, who known as on his engineers to return to the drafting board after the primary qualifying session of the yr in Bahrain, doesn’t count on Hamilton to depart Mercedes on the finish of this yr however wouldn’t maintain a grudge in opposition to his driver if he considers different choices past that.
“I do not assume that Lewis will depart Mercedes,” Wolff mentioned. “He is on the stage of a profession the place we belief one another, we’ve fashioned the good bond amongst one another and we’ve no purpose to doubt one another, although this can be a troublesome spell.
“Will probably be so good after we come out of this valley of tears, and are available again to strong performances.
“However, as a driver if he needs to win one other championship, he must ensure that he has the automobile. And if we can not exhibit that we’re capable of give him a automobile within the subsequent couple of years, then he must look in all places.
“I do not assume he is doing it at that stage, however I’ll haven’t any grouch if that occurs in a yr or two.”
Wolff accepts Mercedes made incorrect choices with its automobile design this yr, however mentioned it went into the season believing it will nonetheless be aggressive.
“I believe we might actually tried onerous to make it work, as a result of the information that we’ve extrapolated confirmed us that this works and we have been confirmed incorrect, very merely,” Wolff mentioned. “You’ll be able to see that the three quickest automobiles have an analogous idea of how they generate efficiency, and it is very totally different to ours.
“At a sure stage we got here to the conclusion, we obtained this incorrect. Merely, we obtained it incorrect.
“We do perceive, crystal clear, what we have accomplished and why we ended up in a spot that does not convey us efficiency. However understanding it from the, as an example, scientific aspect is not but … it is typically troublesome to discover a means again into actual efficiency onto the automobile.
“However we’ve a giant step forward to what we have seen after the preseason take a look at, by way of our understanding.”