Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019

Ferrari qualifying troubles flattered Mercedes, says Wolff

2019 German Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team has been less competitive than expected at the Hockenheimring, despite Lewis Hamilton taking pole position.

Ferrari were consistently the fastest test throughout practice, but both its cars were struck down by technical problems in qualifying.

Mercedes brought an aerodynamic upgrade for its W10 this weekend which was partly aimed at solving its cooling problem. “We were expecting to be much more competitive this weekend,” said Wolff. “We put a very solid upgrade package onto the car.”

Wolff acknowledged that “straight-line speed would go against us in Hockenheim” but expected that the car’s strength in the slower corners at the end of the lap would help tip the balance in their favour. However Ferrari looked a strong threat for pole position until they hit trouble.

“Fundamentally we are not happy with our own performance and [it] could have looked much different if Ferrari would have finished the qualifying,” said Wolff.

He said the team must work out hot to get the most from its new upgrade before the next round in Hungary.

“It’s not understood [yet]. I think we see that the upgrade package has delivered, we see that on the pressure cappings.

“But there are so many factors to consider: Whe specific circuit layout, the Tarmac, the heat. Have we completely understood how to tune the car for the aero upgrade? So there’s many variables we need to find out and analyse before going to Budapest.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “Ferrari qualifying troubles flattered Mercedes, says Wolff”

    1. Ferrari’s qualifying failures flattered Mercedes

      of course.. it was shear luck ;)
      No serious, even Bottas was so used to a second place he picked the wrong sign on the “interview grid”.
      Toto is very creative in downplaying the immense performance distance Merc has.

      I

      1. Bottas was outqualified by Max, you silly goose.

        1. Oh, I think you misunderstood him.

    2. Well if Hamilton is to be believed, he was feeling quite unwell. Im sure he would have extracted more performance if he was in full health.
      I cant speak for Bottas, this is one of his ‘off’ weekends.

      Maybe leclerc or vettel could have done something magical, however I doubt pole was there. Atleast they would have provided some competition.

      1. Bottas weekends are all “off” ones, except those where hes Bottas 2.0, which only happens 3 times a year.

        1. Bottas’s performance reflected the actual Mercedes performance. Last year where was Bottas? It was all Hamilton’s brilliant drive versus Ferrari. During season opener Mercedes has clear best car advantage so Bottas was up there, now with both Ferrari and Red Bull restoring its performance, there he go Bottas behind Verstappen and Ferrari, while Hamilton still doing the usual Superman role versus them all.

    3. “with Lewis’s sore throat we were going to struggle to even outqualify Williams!” Toto

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