Toto Wolff says he is pleased Lewis Hamilton is offering up an 'authentic' reaction to his ongoing troubles and faltering title bid as yet more gremlins crept into his challenge at the Monaco Grand Prix.
In a season that has so far seen the defending champion suffer a serious of issues out of his control – including turn one accidents and technical woes -, a fuel pump problem at the start of qualifying would hamper his hopes of challenging for pole position.
With Hamilton ending up third on the grid behind Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg, the Briton – who has been noted for his upbeat attitude despite the repeated set-backs – cut a particularly despondent figure in front of the press post-qualifying this time.
Despite this, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff feels it is important for Hamilton to show an 'authentic' reaction to what has been a dismal run of problems.
“Lewis wears the heart on his sleeve and when he has a bad day you can see that and it's fair enough, it's his character but he has bounced back very well after Barcelona,” he said. “With some you can see the frustration and others you won't. It's clear that we are all upset about the situation that we keep having those gremlins that spoil our performance. I think that's good, we want him to be authentic.”
Reflecting on the issue itself, Wolff suggested the fuel pump problem – which afflicted Nico Rosberg too, albeit with less consequence – is specific to Monaco with its shorter laps and turnarounds, but won't arise in race conditions.
“It looks like that we, as a consequence of fuel temperature, we had a fuel pump problem, which we had on both cars and unfortunately for Lewis he was out of the garage so it took a while to recover him. But we had a similar issue in Nico's car.
“The lap is pretty short here and when you are tight on time the procedure is different to normal and that was the root cause.”
“In the race it's a completely different programme. It is something that is related when you pull the car back off the short lap, the hot car into the garage, and that affects the fuel pump. It shouldn't happen in the race, normally not. So if what we have identified one hour ago when I left the garage, it should be alright.”