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Toto Wolff

Wolff slams Mercedes W14: 'It's a nasty piece of work'

Toto Wolff says that Mercedes' qualifying performance in Miami was 'worse than expected' after George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified in P6 and P13 respectively.

Hamilton Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Toto Wolff has hit out at an 'unacceptable' Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix Qualifying session for the Mercedes team which saw both drivers struggle for performance.

Lewis Hamilton was a shock elimination from the second part of qualifying, with the seven-time champion only managing the 13th fastest time of the day.

Mercedes narrowly avoided a double-Q2 elimination, but Russell was able to salvage sixth from a chaotic end to the final part of qualifying.

Saturday in Miami was the team's worst qualifying performance of the season and, speaking after qualifying, Mercedes boss Wolff was asked if Mercedes had gone into the Miami GP weekend expecting to struggle.

"No, it's worse than I ever thought it would be," Wolff admitted to media, including RacingNews365.com about Mercedes' performance.

"Because we are twelve months on since we were last in Miami and the car is just marginally better, maybe it's not bouncing on the straights, but it's the only thing that is better than last year.

"The car is not fast enough, and we haven't got any comprehension on why that is.

"We're P1 and P2 in one session and in the next it's P6 and P13. It's just not acceptable."

Wolff: Nothing left to say about 'nasty' car

Upon being eliminated from Q2, Hamilton radioed the team to complain about the timing of his release onto the track and his position on the circuit, suggesting it disrupted his warm-up to a flying lap.

When asked about what can be done to encourage Hamilton ahead of the Miami race, Wolff responded: "The problem is there's nothing left to say because the car is just simply not fast enough and putting him in a situation on his out lap where the drivers aren't able to prepare their their tyres makes it just even worse.

"Obviously nobody makes a mistake on purposes and we're trying to give him the best position.

"We have in the past got it wrong many times and got it right many times. Today for George and Lewis that really went south and you can see in his first sector that the car simply wasn't there."

"I take no enjoyment from finishing sixth, or eighth, or seventh. And even if it was fifth I took no enjoyment either because it's a lack of comprehension of what it is that makes this car such a nasty piece of work."

F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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