Mercedes has outlined that Lewis Hamilton lost “about 30 points” of downforce with a heavy kerb strike at Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton ran second at the Red Bull Ring, having overhauled McLaren’s Lando Norris, but began to struggle for pace during the second stint of the race.
Mercedes informed Hamilton that he had sustained left-rear damage and eventually gave clearance for Valtteri Bottas to pass for second place.
Hamilton subsequently relinquished third to Norris and then came into the pits for a second stop, consigning him to fourth for the remainder of the race.
Hamilton described the issue as “feeling like I’d gone down a couple of steps on the rear wing” as he dropped out of podium contention.
“We have calculated that we lost about 30 points [of downforce],” said Wolff. “That is a number that is not checked yet, but there was quite a loss in performance.
“That meant he was pushing the tyres in a direction that wouldn’t have made it to the end probably.
“The new tyre obviously masks a little bit a loss of performance and gave a relative advantage to the guys running on an older tyre.”
Wolff explained Mercedes’ instruction for Bottas to hold position before eventually permitting him to pass the sister car.
“We wanted to evaluate what his performance really was after the damage and whether it was possible Valtteri could have protected against Lando,” said Wolff.
“But that wasn’t possible, and it was also fair towards Valtteri to do his own race and this is when we decided to switch, obviously understanding that we would lose P3 to McLaren.”