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Toto Wolff

Wolff refuses to throw in towel as 'right direction' discovered

Despite introducing upgrades for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Mercedes remained in the bottom half in Q3.

Toto Wolff
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes once again failed to be in the pole position fight at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, yet Team Principal Toto Wolff is convinced progress has been made in Imola thanks to finding the "right direction" in terms of development.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen claimed his seventh pole position of the season, whilst George Russell and Lewis Hamilton had to settle for sixth and eighth in the upgraded W15.

Russell has looked quicker and more comfortable than Hamilton throughout the weekend so far, and was impressively just one-thousandth of a second slower than Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Despite the unsatisfactory qualifying positions, Wolff has taken confidence from the reduced time between themselves and the likes of Ferrari.

The Austrian still believes Mercedes can turn the tide, but recognises the Silver Arrows will not make up its deficit overnight.

"If you look at the gap to the front and our closest competitors, you see progress," Wolff said.

"P6 and P8 are not the positions we want to be in. We have been saying that for a while, but we see that the lead of others is getting smaller. It takes time and we have to be patient, that's the reality at the moment."

More upgrades to come

Whilst Russell came close to qualifying ahead of a Ferrari, Hamilton was concerningly eight-tenths slower than Verstappen and nearly three-tenths of a second slower than his team-mate. 

The seven-time world champion has struggled more than Russell this season to extract the most from the team's 2024 package.

Despite the 39-year-old's struggles, more upgrades are coming for the Brackley-based outfit who are, according to Wolff, finally heading in the correct direction.

"We know we have developments in the pipeline that will improve the balance of the car," said Wolff. 

"Even though our positions are not good enough now, we are moving in the right direction. During the race, we will focus on maximising the package we have now and try to score good points."

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