Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff has praised Lewis Hamilton for his resilience and attitude after suffering yet another setback during qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday.
For the second race in a row, Hamilton was sidelined in qualifying by an issue on his power unit that means he will start today’s race in Sochi from P10 on the grid.
Mercedes was able to fly in the required parts from its engine base in Brixworth, England to Sochi overnight, ensuring that Hamilton will not take a grid penalty.
Hamilton was bitterly disappointed by the issue, while Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe said on Saturday that the team had let him down.
Staring down the barrel of a 36-point deficit to Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ championship, Hamilton will be doing everything he can to stop his pole-sitting teammate from extending that lead on Sunday.
“The power unit is a core element of performance and one of our biggest strengths,” Wolff said on Saturday after qualifying.
“We are pushing hard to find lap time in every area and it’s inevitable that sometimes you reach limits in that process.
“Lewis has handled everything so far this year with calm and professionalism. He is resilient and showing a great attitude, even though this is a tough time for him.
“For tomorrow, it’s clear we are in a strong position in terms of performance. But like the saying goes, to finish first, first you have to finish…”