MAY 2, 2016
Mercedes eyes step back to recover reliability
Mercedes chiefs Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff say priority number 1 is for the reigning champions to solve car reliability problems.
While Nico Rosberg utterly dominated at Sochi, his teammate Lewis Hamilton has suffered repeated technical problems that have caused some conspiracy theories to surface.
Boss Wolff, however, said the German marque demonstrated its loyalty to the reigning world champion by rushing a part to Sochi by private plane that prevented a further penalty.
"The box came off the plane and within 90 seconds was out of the airport. I have no idea how Bernie (Ecclestone) managed to do that," he smiled to Bild newspaper.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, the next private plane was flown out of Sochi by team chairman Niki Lauda, who will stop off at Brackley to ensure the team is straight to work on ending the series of engine problems.
That is because Hamilton suffered yet another technical glitch in the race in the form of a water leak, while telemetry from Rosberg's winning car showed indications of a fault.
"For a moment we thought Nico's race was over," Wolff said, referring to Sunday's race winner.
Lauda added: "I'm worried about the reliability of our engines but I trust our people to solve it.
"What man can build, he can also understand and fix."
Wolff insists Mercedes will not panic, explaining that the problems are just the result of being pushed harder by rivals so far in 2016.
"The longer the rules are stable, the more difficult it is to find a few more horse power," he said.
"Internally, we call our engine guy Andy Cowell 'Mr Performance', because he wants to get everything out of it that is humanly possible.
"But we might have to take a small step back and ensure that we are giving the drivers a car with which they can get to the finish line," Wolff is quoted by RTL broadcaster.