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Gearbox issues raises concerns at Mercedes

ESPN Staff
July 8, 2014 « Hamilton plays down Rosberg's German allegiance | Drivers must be free to race - Horner »
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Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg's gearbox failure at the British Grand Prix has raised "lots of concerns" and caught the team by surprise.

Rosberg retired from the lead of the race on lap 29 after struggling with issues since lap 20. It is the third retirement this season across both Mercedes cars and Wolff admitted his team was still wary of reliability issues.

"[We have] lots of concerns," he said. "The pace was really good [at Silverstone] and we understand much better what happened with our cooling issues [in previous races], but then having a gearbox failure is a bit of a hit. You wouldn't expect in 2014 having a DNF because of a gearbox breaking down. You have to look at the quality aspect of the way we look at things. You can have such a DNF once but not twice."

However, if Wolff still has concerns about the car's reliability, he believes his drivers are mentally solid. Lewis Hamilton's attitude has come under scrutiny after mistakes in qualifying at recent race weekends, but Wolff said he has no doubt that his driver is fully focused.

"I think different to what the perception is, he is mentally very strong. One of the examples is that he had another pit stop that was not perfect on the left rear and the first thing he did was come on the radio and said 'Don't worry, we can make the next one better'. You can see the momentum in the team, it's not a blaming culture in here and it's just about trying to improve all together. He would have moved himself out of that low anyway, but winning at home and in front of such a crowd and bouncing in the way he did, that's going to be a big boost."

"Winning at home always gives you a good boost, but I can tell you in the briefing in the morning he came in in good spirits and was very focused and very concentrated in a way that was really aggressive. Speaking about momentum, we have seen it swing to one side and then seen it swing to another, and I guess they are on a pretty even level and it's going to last until the last race of the season."

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