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Toto Wolff

Wolff issues worrying assessment as Mercedes' struggles get worse

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were unable to make any progress from their lowly grid positions in the Imola Sprint race.

Hamilton smoke Imola
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described the team's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend as a "complete write-off" after another challenging day at Imola.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were both knocked out in the second qualifying phase on Friday, and the pair could not make any progress in Saturday's Sprint, with Russell remaining 11th and Hamilton dropping back to 14th.

It came after Wolff described the W13 - which continues to suffer from extreme porpoising - as "undriveable" in its current specification.

Wolff: Mercedes' weekend at Imola a complete write-off

With Mercedes' weekend - and season - only getting worse, Wolff did not hold back when speaking to the media.

"I think points scoring needs to be the minimum, but this is not where we set our expectations, and therefore this weekend is a complete write-off," Wolff told members of the press, including RacingNews365.com.

"You can say, 'Well, we're trying to learn', but we weren't great at tyre warm-up, that's why there's not a lot that can be [done].

"There's no miracle that you can expect at the race start, because overtaking is so difficult. We can make up positions, we've shown it today, but not quickly enough.

"Beyond the fact that we're learning, it's another a humbling experience."

Wolff agrees with Hamilton over title chances

Hamilton conceded after the Sprint that he and Mercedes are likely out of the fight for this year's world titles, despite there being 19 more race weekends.

Wolff, having himself put Mercedes' championship chances at around 20 per cent heading to Imola, agreed with his driver's comments.

"We are four races in and probably today marks the low [point] of these first four races," said Wolff.

"It's obvious that we are not anywhere near the fight at the front and it would be pretty unrealistic to claim to have a slot among the front-runners for fighting for the championship."

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F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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