Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2023

Wolff “fed up” with car’s poor performance as Hamilton fails to reach Q3 again

Formula 1

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted he is glad the last qualifying session of the season is over after Mercedes endured another disappointment.

Lewis Hamilton failed to make the cut for Q3 at Yas Marina, for the second race weekend in a row. Speaking on his radio after the session Hamilton said he suspected there was something wrong with his car.

Wolff said Hamilton had “just no grip” throughout much of the running on Saturday.

His team mate fared better, claiming fourth on the grid. Russell was quickest in the first and third practice sessions, held in warmer conditions, but Mercedes found their car became less competitive as the track temperatures dropped.

“[Final practice] was even, I would say, dominant,” Wolff told Sky. “Norris could have probably been there and would have been there also by the way in qualifying.

“It just didn’t come together,” he added. “Probably that’s what was in the car. But our expectations were higher temperatures.”

Mercedes go into the final race of the seeking to preserve their slender, four-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors championship. The two W14s will start ahead of one Ferrari, Carlos Sainz Jnr having been eliminated in Q1, but behind Charles Leclerc, who claimed a place on the front row of the grid.

However Wolff admitted he is keen to put the team’s frustrating 2023 campaign behind them. If they fail to win tomorrow’s race, it will be their first season without a victory since 2011.

“I’m fed up with having explanations why it didn’t go well,” he said. “We were good in the hot, we weren’t in the cold, the previous day it was the other way around.

“So I’m happy that this was the last qualifying of the season and we’re going to come with a new car.”

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Keith Collantine
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34 comments on “Wolff “fed up” with car’s poor performance as Hamilton fails to reach Q3 again”

  1. Mercedes are a hot and cold mess.

  2. Aww my heart bleeds for you Toto. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

    1. Can’t wait to see Verstappen start losing

      1. You mean the way he was losing to dominant Mercedes for years?
        Meanwhile Mercedes has not really lost since they started dominating in the hybrid era.

  3. So now the season is over, can we throw Verstappen in there and see what he could do with it?

  4. if there car wasn’t so slow down the straight they wouldn’t have to worry about trying to get every tenth in the corners. they could also jump people on strategy with better tires instead of getting stuck behind faster cars with slower tires. But this has been a problem for years now. So what ever. Just hope Mercedes look to their previous cars and what Ferrari are doing to get their cars better down the straight. Maybe taking 3rd would be worth it to get 5% more time, but I think Toto should offset the cost of the last two years and pull a red bull and just spend outside the budget, I mean if RBR can win effortlessly and cheat, why even pretend.

  5. Wolff “fed up” with car’s poor performance

    Which one/s. They seem to have brought so many this year.

  6. Wonder how far along they could have been if they ditched the zero sidepod design earlier. With limited testing in tunnel and budget cap restrictions, this seems to have harmed them more than they thought.

  7. I mean the car got 2nd row. It’s neither a mess nor something to be fed up.

    1. To be fair, the car seems extremely temperamental and very easy to find a poor setup for, so even when it is good there is a high chance the performance can fall off a cliff with minor changes to track or temperature.

      1. No, they have been following Russell’s lead most of practice, so its not surprising Lewis is having issues with setup. Now Mercedes will have to sit their and eat their humble pie on Sunday as they watch their lead driver fall backwards because hes not as good as Lewis at setting up a race winning car. Statistics says. Not rooting against Russell, but he doesn’t have the same level of feel as his teammate, much like Oscar and Lando.

        1. Agree Merc is stronger when the car performs to LH liking and he guides a race setup.
          I like George but so far he hasn’t been as strong as Nico or Bottas. The small mistakes are piling up, and without just 1 or 2 mistakes, Merc would have 2nd locked up.

          example, Vegas, RUS should have known VER was coming through when he left that much space on the inside.

          1. There’s no way bottas was doing any better than russell.

    2. I think this race they finally let Russell go. It seems they finally gave him the green light to drive his best. Maybe we are seeing the true pace of the Mercedes in the hands of an unbounded Russell.

      My prediction is next sesason, Russell will consitently out rank Hamilton. Gloves are off. JMHO

  8. Mercedes has been developing a lot of divas since the end of the original hybrid era regulations.

    1. Just the one really…

      1. Yeah Russell, Hamilton has trashed him.

    2. Russell is one

  9. This qualifying failure like in Vegas is down to Lewis, both times Russell had no problem getting into Q3 and put the Mercedes on 2nd row.

    Inexcusable of Lewis to be twice out in Q2 in a row. It seems Lewis is more the diva than the car is.

    1. The only divas are clueless Verstappen fans who don’t understand the tyres are rubbish

    2. For this race, Hamilton wasn’t in the car at all in FP1, whilst FP2 was heavily disrupted. Russell and Piastri both had the benefit of a full FP1 session. If the cars are being difficult to set up, the extra set up time may be a factor. Another possibility is that Hamilton has his car better set up for a heavy fuel load and race conditions, but Russell has focussed more on qualifying pace.

  10. The car?? Is car #44 driverless??

    1. Yes, unless it wins.

      1. stupid hate comment of both of you, as always

        1. And you call us stupid LOL

          As a general rule, the one who calls names first has already lost the argument

    2. You sound like a DTS fan

  11. Wolffy baby,
    You know your R&D team is completely happy with this design and the believe they are just a tweak or two away from dominating again. Looking forward to the new silver (wheel)barrow in 2024.

    1. Jimmy baby, you know Toto will neither read nor care about your opinion…

      1. You do need to check this. For your information only.

    2. Aww shucks you really thought you sounded important…..oh well

  12. I don’t get it. They dropped the no side pod version and it performed better. HAM asked for the seat to be moved to a position more to his liking.

    Still HAM has praised and criticized it off and on. Merc and Ferrari are neck and neck this year for 2nd in the WCC – so how bad can the car be?

    There is no doubt he is one of the greats, but it seems he can’t get the full potential out of a car that is not setup exactly to his liking. I don’t think it’s fair or wise to criticize the car after getting knocked out of Q2 when your less experienced teammate in the same car is 4th.

    1. Exactly, when a driver gets destroyed by his team mate in a given weekend, the problem has to be researched within the driver, not the car, whose potential was ok.

      Otherwise the red bull this year wouldn’t really be a good car if we looked at the consistently bad qualifying sessions perez is having.

  13. Maybe Toto regretting giving GrandPa $100 million instead of investing in a new driver for the next 10 years?

    1. I mean, russell was VERY highly rated before going up against hamilton, there was some 30% of us, me included who believed he was gonna outperform hamilton, and wolff had a great opinion about him too before hiring him, so I don’t think they got russell to get a number 2 driver, they got him to be hamilton’s successor, but he’s disappointed so far in this regards, at least for me, I know I say this in a weekend he’s doing better, but I’m taking the whole year into account ofc.

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