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Toto Wolff

Wolff sets Mercedes Mexico target after 'massive' Ferrari gain

Can Mercedes finish higher up in the points in the Mexican Grand Prix after two non-scores for Lewis Hamilton in the last two races?

Hamilton Mexico
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has issued a target for both his drivers as the team looks to improve on its below-par qualifying performance at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will start the race from sixth place after posting a lap time that was 0.288s off Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc's pole effort, while George Russell is further back in eighth.

Both drivers ran used tyres for their first runs in Q3 but could not improve enough on fresher rubber to challenge for the front row.

Wolff expects it will be a challenge to fight back for podium places but is aiming for a decent haul of points after losing out in the last race with Hamilton's disqualification from second place in the United States.

Wolff: Ferrari made a massive jump

"P6 and P8 is less than we had hoped for from qualifying today. We made some good steps with the car, but we couldn't put the lap times together when it really counted," said Wolff.

"Ferrari made a massive jump from Q2 to Q3, and you could see all the way through the session that it was all about fine margins - two or three seconds of out lap pace, [was the difference in] getting the tyres perfectly in the window, or just slipping out of it.

"On our final new tyre, it looks like we were a bit too slow and the tyres were a bit too cool - but it's just tricky to find that sweet spot.

"We are less than three-tenths off pole, but it feels like a lot more given our starting positions."

The team did a lot of work on setup throughout Friday practice, with both Russell and Hamilton taking different directions.

"We showed some decent race pace [in practice] - but we don't know if that will translate to the race after the set-up changes we made," added Wolff.

"But the only goal will be to move forward from where we start."

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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