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Toto Wolff

Wolff says Mercedes are facing 'extra terrestrial' mystery

Toto Wolff has explained that the Mercedes team are still facing issues with the W13 bouncing following a disappointing qualifying at the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton Silverstone
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To news overview © XPB

Toto Wolff admits that the Mercedes team are still struggling to understand the reasons for the bouncing issues on the W13.

Despite Mercedes heading into the British Grand Prix weekend optimistic of improvements, they were disappointed to qualify with Lewis Hamilton in fifth and George Russell in eighth.

Having looked like outside contenders for pole position throughout most of qualifying, Mercedes Team Principal Wolff believes that the outfit's preparations for their final qualifying runs hampered their chances of a better result.

"Qualy was looking okay until the last laps," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I believe that we had a car that was good enough for the front row, maybe top three. In the end, it didn't come together at all and, therefore, I'm pretty disappointed actually with the result, because I believe it could have gone faster."

Adding to comments from their drivers about disrupting momentum and having to back off on their penultimate laps to recharge the batteries, Wolff believed they should have instructed the drivers to keep pushing.

"If we would have continued with the consecutive laps and given up a little bit on engine mode towards the end, I believe that we would have qualified for the top three position," he added.

"In the end, you never know, but I think that lap would have been pretty good."

Wolff: We can't find the correlation for the bouncing

The pace of the Mercedes W13, which had a 'major' upgrade in Barcelona and 'minor' upgrades since, was improved through the British GP practice.

However, Mercedes' issues with bouncing appeared to be on-and-off over the course of the weekend.

Wolff explained that even something as simple as a new set of tyres seemed to trigger the car's bouncing problems.

"This track we knew would probably suit us more because it's flat, and and we've seen that in the overall performance, albeit not in the final result of qualifying," added Wolff.

"We had a car that from the video looks pretty good. Turn 9 is a good example of us looking much better than many other cars, but the drivers still have the feeling that it's a bit stiff, and that it bounces.

"It's still a mystery, although we have more data points that will allow us in the future to dissect it, but at the moment, it's still not where we wanted to be.

"[Russell] had no bouncing on the first set of tyres, but 20 minutes later on the second set of tyres he had bouncing."

Wolff quipped that the problem could be down to an additional phenomenon outside of their control.

"I don't know, we haven't looked [at] the change of gravity or things like this that might affect us... some extra-terrestrial influence?" he joked.

"We can't correlate it. It changes so much between one session to the other, one tyre set to the other. There is no indication about set-up, like; wind, ambient, general track conditions, none of that."

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