Mercedes director Toto Wolff is not bothered by Lewis Hamilton’s failure to win a race so far in 2013, believing that it is too early in the season to write off his chances.
Hamilton has scored three podiums in 2013, but teammate Nico Rosberg has already won a race – the Monaco Grand Prix – causing many to question the 2008 world champion’s pace. However, Wolff is sure that Hamilton will bounce back, although he concedes that the Briton may have been surprised by Rosberg’s results.
“A lot had been written about it not being clear what Nico’s pace was compared to Michael. Now, he has proved that he is really fast, and it’s surprised Lewis, but I don’t think it’s a problem,” Wolff told Totalrace.
“We saw just how much in Canada, where he [Hamilton] would have been on pole if not for the braking error. I think we will see great races from Lewis. I have no doubt. I don’t think there’s any reason to say that he’s having a problem or difficulties.”
Wolff believes that, for Hamilton, it is just a case of settling into the Mercedes setup.
“It’s too early in the season. He’s just starting with the team while Nico has been here for years.”
Hamilton will be keen on breaking his duck at the next race, the British Grand Prix, which he won in front of his home fans in 2008.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.