Wolff in a rage: “We can’t exploit the potential of the car at the moment. But we have two of the best drivers in our car and I won’t allow us to drive around in no-man’s land with a second behind. It’s not the first either time that happens to me,” says the Viennese.
While the bare figures impressively illustrate Mercedes’ misery with the new W13, Hamilton is simply at a loss even after qualifying. “I didn’t feel the car under me today. It was okay in practice, but undriveable in qualifying. It’s never been as bad as it is today,” the Brit quarrels.
Even more alarming: “It’s a miracle that I wasn’t one of the drivers who ended up in the wall,” says Hamilton, referring to his fight with the Silver Arrow: “I had big problems with the balance of the car, it was very nervous and unstable, I kept losing the rear.”
Hamilton suspects: “We just chose the wrong way with the setup today. That was my decision, I changed a few things and maybe went too far.” This is also reflected in the gap to stable mate George Russell: In the first qualifying segment, he is at least six and a half tenths faster than Hamilton, ultimately qualifying sixth.
“When the other car is so fast, it’s obviously disappointing that I can’t keep up with my team-mate,” says Hamilton, admitting: “I don’t know what George did with the setup.”
Overall, Wolff states: “It’s not that we have a single problem with the car, there are many parts that are not performing. That’s not where we expect the car to be. Now comes the point where we look pull yourself together and when it’s time to wake up.”
Alone: Hamilton doesn’t believe that this will happen this weekend in Jeddah: “I’ll have the same car in tomorrow’s race as in qualifying, so I can’t imagine it going that far forward. In addition, we’re pretty slow on the straights, so it’s going to be tough.” The Briton is even considering: “Maybe I’ll start from the pit lane to be able to change something again. I don’t know if it’s worth it to start from where I’m standing now.”