After a disappointing qualifying result for Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff is tempering expectations for the United States Grand Prix. Mercedes was initially the big favorite, but Red Bull was convincingly stronger in qualifying.
In Q3 it became clear that the RB16B with Max Verstappen on board was too fast for Lewis Hamilton, who had to settle for second place on the grid. Toto Wolff is disappointed, and has to admit that there was not more in it for Mercedes on Saturday. The German team will also have a hard time during the race, the team boss expects.
“We gave everything we had,” Wolff says in conversation with ORF. “We had a very strong car, but on Friday it somehow didn’t quite work out.” Ahead of the weekend, Mercedes was identified as the top contender for pole position, but Red Bull took first place on the grid.
According to Wolff, Mercedes has let it go in the run-up to qualifying. “I think it’s all a problem with the car’s set-up. In addition, it was also a difficult task to handle the tires well. We were always fast in the first or last sector, but never at the same time in one round.”
Wolff does not expect to be able to hit back hard at Verstappen and Red Bull on Sunday. “The car was not good in the long runs either. Somehow we are in such a good position this weekend, we just have to improve. We lost something somewhere,” said the Mercedes team boss.