Formula 1 news: The 2021 F1 season has been intriguing to say the very least. The lead of the WDC has never been more than eight points so far. However, retirements, and not smaller points swing will “make a big difference” this year says Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.
Back in Turkey, Lewis lost the advantage when he crossed the line in P5, with arch-rival Max Verstappen in P2. Thus, a six-point advantage to the Dutchman.
Even though Lewis kept on blaming Mercedes for pitting him when they did, Team Principal Toto Wolff emphasized something entirely different.
Mind you, the below-mentioned statements made are going to hurt those who still think Lewis shouldn’t have made a pit stop. You’re wrong.
Formula 1 news: “It’s going to be very tight until the end“, says Wolff
“The whole season swings back and forth,” Wolff said. “We make mistakes together. We win together. You know, we have had much bigger swings in the past with lost opportunities. This was a very, very close call. We decided on one thing, and it went wrong.”
In the end, all is not lost for the seven-time champions, not at least in the driver’s championship.
“We’ve lost eight points in Turkey from Red Bull from a grid penalty. Red Bull in Russia was happy with a seven-point loss. So it’s going to be very tight until the end. DNFs are going to make a big difference. Not three or four or five-point swings.”
FYI: Lewis Hamilton has had just one DNF this season. It came when he failed to finish in Monza following a crash between him and Max.
However, counting that Monza crash, Verstappen now has two DNFs in total, with the other one coming in Silverstone earlier this year due to a clash between him and Lewis.
Owing to the power of that Mercedes, even though Lewis was handed an in-race penalty for the same, he still went on to win that race.
In Baku, Max also failed to see the chequered flag after suffering a late puncture, but since he completed more than 90% of the total race distance, he was still classified.
Currently, Mercedes leads Red Bull by 36 points while Max heads Lewis by six points, so if the title is somehow tied, it would all come down to who had the most P2s, DNFs, all the works.
There is even a possibility that Lewis could yet again take a grid penalty as the reliability is hurting Mercedes by some margin this year.
Although Toto has made it very clear that his team cannot afford a zero-points finish. Not anymore.
“Reliability versus performance is always the fine line that you need to get right, and as I said before, DNFing obviously is a no-go for the championship, and nobody, neither us nor our competitors can afford a zero-point race weekend,” he added.