Mercedes boss Toto Wolff delivered a damning verdict on the qualifying performance of the team by saying that it wasn’t good enough on Saturday.
With upgrades made to the car and the Circuit Paul Ricard being one of the smoothest tacks on the F1 calendar, many expected the Silver Arrows to be challenging for the pole position during qualifying and possibly score the win on Sunday.
However, things didn’t go according to plan as Red Bull and Ferrari once again led the pack with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing P4 and P6 respectively.
Mercedes had to make both drivers switch to soft tyres as they just scrapped through to make it to Q3.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Saturday, Wolff said that once the new tyres came on, they were going to end up being the third force on the grid. But overall, the performance was not good enough according to the Mercedes boss.
“I think we knew once we got the new tyres on and we are driving the car in anger a little bit, that we are going to be there as a third force like we’ve been all season.”
“But yeah, it’s just not good enough,” said Wolff.
Wolff was then told that the Silver Arrows’ race weekend had been messy since they had used different rear wings on both the cars. The Mercedes boss responded by saying that they were freestyling a bit as things weren’t going according to plan.
“You can see when you’re a little bit on the back foot, your expectations are on a certain level for the race weekend and it doesn’t come together, a kind of freestyling starts.”
“And with us it was mainly experimenting with rear wing levels and also tyre temperatures. But at the end, the overall package is just not quick enough and can see that,” said Wolff.
Wolff, however, went on to agree with Hamilton’s suggestion that the qualifying session had been immense. While he did point out that the British driver could have been P5 if not for Carlos Sainz’ grid penalty, the Mercedes boss claimed that Hamilton did a good job on the day.
“Yeah, immense job. If we have Sainz there it is P5, but still a great, great job. He probably has extracted more than the car has at the moment,” said Wolff.
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