Toto Wolff is expecting a difficult qualifying session for Mercedes on Saturday after the team's struggles on Friday, comparing their situation to the 2015 Singapore GP when they were well off the pace.
Mercedes were well off the pace during practice for this weekend's Azerbaijan GP, finishing over a second back of rivals Red Bull. Wolff doesn't think things will improve in qualifying and expects to struggle like the team did in Singapore six years ago when they qualified close to 1.5 seconds back of pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
“Racing is done on Sunday [but] I think qualifying can be a very, very difficult session for us,” Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. “Probably one of the most difficult I’ve ever seen. It reminds me of Singapore 2015.
“But we’ll take it on the chin. I believe we have a good race car so there is ground to recover on Sunday and then learn. It is what it is. We’re trying to go as fast as possible with the kit that is available.”
Valtteri Bottas noted that there was something fundamentally wrong with the Mercedes car, a sentiment that was shared by Wolff.
“You can clearly see from the lap times there’s something fundamentally wrong,” Wolff added.. “We are trying to tune the car so it actually functions but we haven’t been able to do that.
“We continue to see the issues that we have a strong race car but we are struggling to really nail it for a single lap."
Wolff believe Mercedes' struggles on Friday are a continuation of the issues they faced in Monaco.
"Today was a day of data collection and analysis and definitely what we’ve seen in Monaco is a little bit of a prolongation into Baku that there are certain parts of the track where we simply don’t perform," Wolff concluded.