Mercedes need to sort out their starts

Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:31am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - For the second race in a row it all went wrong at the start for Mercedes in Hungary and a rule change coming in after the August break will give the Formula One world champions even more to think about.

"We just had another crappy start, which was the root cause of all the other stuff that came afterwards," Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said in a frank assessment of Sunday's debacle.

Mercedes have started all 10 races this season on pole position, and have won eight of them, but for the first time this year they had no drivers on the podium.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen scythed past Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg when the start lights went out, just as Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas had at Silverstone for Williams.

Mercedes were left on the back foot in Hungary, triggering a chain reaction that left world champion Hamilton -- who also had a poor start in Austria -- finishing sixth and Rosberg eighth while Vettel went on to win.

"We need to get on top of the situation. It is not acceptable and it needs to be analyzed why it happened," said Wolff. "It is many various reasons, not one particular one."

Wolff said he thought a clutch calibration problem was to blame, with the cars suffering too much wheelspin.

The next race is Belgium and, to complicate matters, there will be restrictions on the amount of information teams can give drivers at the start and that could shake things up.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit, near Budapest, Hungary July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo