“We’ve seen Wolff in that mood a lot” | “That’s where the hurt comes from”

Sky Sports F1 pundit Naomi Schiff has questioned Toto Wolff’s “mood” when reacting to Mercedes’ qualifying performance at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director in the…

Mercedes secured fourth and eighth in qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton once again their lead driver.

Hamilton is set to start the race from third on the grid thanks to Max Verstappen’s five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

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Despite the positive result for Hamilton, he was over 0.9s off Verstappen - an enormous margin.

Reacting to qualifying, Wolff said: “P3 is good. We couldn’t really assess if our parts were working because of the tricky conditions. So let’s hope for a dry Saturday and Sunday.”

Wolff also admitted he wasn’t sure the rear wing difference between his two drivers was the way to go as Russell struggled once again.

“You can see they have run very different rear wings and rear configurations,” he added. “You can see Lewis is able to extract more performance. It didn’t help today so we need to assess why.”

Immediately after Wolff’s interview, Schiff explained why she thinks the German hasn’t been positive recently.

“I don’t think it was just today, we’ve seen him in that mood a lot recently,” she said. They wanted to be further up the order. The session wasn’t as representative as if the conditions were perfect.

“But he said that Lewis was able to extract more from the lower downforce rear wing than George, who had a higher downforce one. He tried to say it was down to Lewis, but George was losing time by having the higher downforce.

“It’s difficult to tell - it could’ve gone the other way around. I’m sure there are reasons why they are running different configurations.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19 leads George Russell (GBR)…

“We’ve seen Toto in that mood a lot recently. He said some pretty intense things at the past few races - ‘worst day ever’, these kinds of things.”

Mercedes simulator driver Anthony Davidson pointed out the significant margin between Hamilton and Verstappen is “where the hurt comes from” for Wolff.

“They’ve just qualified almost a second behind Verstappen. This is a constructor that has won eight championships! That hurts.

“[Lewis and Max] drove brilliant laps. They were a second away. That’s where the hurt comes from.”

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