Small progress, but again no chance in qualifying

Mercedes’ hopes were high after the strong training session on Friday, but the disappointment after qualifying was great. Once again only third and fourth rows on the grid. Both drivers narrowly missed out on better starting positions, which was particularly bitter on the Monaco track, which was difficult to overtake. George Russell benefited from a new front wing on the W15. Lewis Hamilton was disappointed, but no longer surprised.

Lewis Hamilton expresses frustration: Always expected qualifying defeat

P1 in the 1st free practice, P2 in the 2nd free practice, P3 in the 3rd free practice: If you only look at the free practice sessions, Mercedes should have been a candidate for pole position. As is well known, subjunctives don’t get you very far in Formula 1, and in the end George Russell was 0.273 seconds behind Charles Leclerc’s pole time, while Lewis Hamilton was 0.351 seconds behind.

Mercedes crisis! Does Toto Wolff have to worry about his F1 job? (25:55 min.)

“Yesterday we were really strong, and this morning too. But as soon as I go into qualifying, I struggle to make progress. Compared to the cars around me, I feel like I’m losing performance,” said Lewis Hamilton, frustrated after finishing seventh in qualifying. Despite a similar driving experience and only minimal changes to the car.

“I’ve been expecting it for a long time now. Every time I go into qualifying, I know I’m going to lose a few tenths,” said the Briton. “Everyone is improving, but we’re taking steps backwards. Something is happening.” He has been struggling with the same problem since the start of the season.

George Russell: Like a new born after steering wheel problems

In the internal Mercedes duel the score is now 7:1 for George Russell. In Monte Carlo he benefited from the new front wing that the Silver Arrows brought with them to Monaco. Lewis Hamilton will only receive the upgrade at the next race in Canada. “That made the difference in performance, especially in the high-speed corners,” says the seven-time world champion.

The new (left) and old (right) Mercedes front wing in Monaco
George Russell’s new front wing, Photo: LAT Images /

“Yesterday I didn’t feel well and had bad vibrations in the car,” explains George Russell. Both of these things are suboptimal in the principality. Fortunately, thanks to his mechanics and better health, he no longer had to hold the steering wheel of his W15 “like a gorilla” in qualifying. “Today I felt much more comfortable. The car really came to life!”

The 26-year-old missed third place and a possible podium in the principality by 25 thousandths. “Afterwards you can always tell yourself that there was more in it,” said Russell. “The most important thing is that we are making progress and hopefully this can be a turning point!”

Toto Wolff pessimistic: Without rain Mercedes has no chance

Monaco is known to never be a good track for the Silver Arrows. The team from Brackley has won five times in the principality, most recently in 2019 with Lewis Hamilton. “It’s bittersweet,” Toto Wolff describes it on Sky Germany. Progress, yes, but with P5 and P7 it could be a long 78 laps around the 3.337-kilometer track. Despite the Silver Arrows’ first top-5 start since Bahrain.

“We need rain to see any overtaking maneuvers at all,” said the Mercedes team boss. “Overcut and undercut don’t seem to be helping either. Maybe we’ll just drive in circles tomorrow.” At least the long run pace should now be better after some changes to the W15. And: According to the current weather forecast, rain showers cannot be completely ruled out.

Max Verstappen is in P6 in the Mercedes sandwich. Things aren’t going well for the Red Bull driver (like his teammate Sergio Perez) in Monaco. You can read all about the world champion’s dilemma here.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *