Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?
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Nico Rosberg has claimed Toto Wolff was ‘annoyed’ and ‘angry’ with Lewis Hamilton as he attempted to speculate over why the pair argued after qualifying. The Mercedes pair were seen talking moments after Hamilton got out of the car after qualifying 13th.
Wolff appeared to be frustrated while Hamilton simply stood there before walking off.
Former Mercedes driver Rosberg said: “It’s very difficult to know what was said. If I had to speculate now it looks to me that Toto was annoyed about something that Lewis had done.
“Which it might be understandable. Lewis could have been very frustrated on the internal Mercedes garage radio or something. Complaining that they didn’t follow his thoughts on what they should have done on strategy or complaining about the car or something.
“Lewis also got out the car before Q2 was over and it might be still a one percent chance the track could still be in a good shape towards the end of qualifying you know, so maybe Toto was angry about that.
“It just shows the stress is starting to get there, rather than going forward they are actually going backwards. They were almost two seconds a lap slower yesterday in qualifying, their worst qualifying in ten years.
“Naturally the tension is going to build internally.” Hamilton refused to reveal what the discussion between the pair was about, simply saying it was an ‘internal’ discussion.
The seven-time champion and George Russell were knocked out of Q2 after Carlos Sainz’s accident brought out the red flag just before a rain shower. It meant Mercedes were unable to get another lap in dry conditions and failed to make it into Q3.
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Hamilton was lucky to take part in Q2 at all after only managing 15th in Q1. But Esteban Ocon’s Alpine was unable to set a final lap after suffering mechanical failures and may have displaced the seven-time champion.
It’s the first time either Mercedes failed to make it into the final part of qualifying since 2012. After qualifying, Toto Wolff claimed the team’s struggles made him want to ‘strangle’ himself.
He did however say he was still enjoying the challenge of trying to solve the issues plaguing the team. Hamilton cut a frustrated figure after the session and warned things were unlikely to get better for the rest of the weekend.
He said: “Today wasn’t a great session and naturally it’s disappointing. We came here with optimism, everyone is working so hard at the factory but things just didn’t come together. I think we underperformed as a team today. We’ll work as hard as we can to move up in the Sprint Race.
“It’s going to be a difficult race but who knows? Maybe we can move our way forwards. Each weekend is a rescue at the moment.”
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