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Toto Wolff

Wolff demands Mercedes 'precision' after Sprint day errors

Poor Shootout management led to a messy ending for Hamilton and Russell.

Hamilton Russell Belgium
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To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has conceded the German manufacturer must "ramp up our game" after a number of issues at the end of the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint Shootout.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell tripped over each other when attempting to start their final attempts of SQ3, trying to prepare their Soft tyres on a drying track.

After Russell had eventually shuffled out in front of his teammate before starting his lap, a lock-up at La Source left both W14s metres away from each other on the run to Eau Rouge.

Hamilton was forced to lift off on the Kemmel Straight, with both drivers scuppered and eventually left to start the Sprint only seventh and 10th.

Both revealed miscommunication in numerous areas affected the situation, including a misinterpretation of the session time left on the clock and Wolff has insisted things must improve.

Shouldn't be happening

"Between the drivers, both of them and the team, we just need to ramp up our game," Wolff told media including RacingNews365 after Hamilton and Russell finished the Sprint seventh and eighth.

"In these situations, in tough conditions, we have just got to have some precision.

"Very quickly you can look very good, very intelligent or very bad. If these didn't tangle the way they did, then Max [Verstappen, last over the line in SQ3] would have missed his final lap.

"Having said that, that's not the driver we should be focused on, [we should focus on] ourselves and given them both a proper launch.

"Lewis was on provisional pole the lap before and ended up seventh. That shouldn't be happening."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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