Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff says Ferrari’s straight-line speed advantage during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix was “just ridiculous”.

Ferrari dominated qualifying to land a front-row lockout at Spa, with Charles Leclerc storming to a crushing pole position with a time that was 0.748s faster than teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes’ drivers had been losing time on the straights throughout the weekend and that theme carried into qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton leading an all-Mercedes second-row, some seven-tenths down on Leclerc.

“We knew that it was going to be difficult and probably third and fourth was what we expected as the optimum result,” Wolff told Sky Sports.

“I think it could have been second, but if we have a deficit anyway with our package, that is enormous and the power is just ridiculous on Ferrari on these kinds of tracks.

“You have got to do everything right and we didn’t.”

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas nearly collided during their warm-up laps prior to their flying laps in Q3, with Wolff saying the incident made his side “look like an idiot”.

“Of course we know that the tow is important but today we tripped over our own feet,” he explained.

“You want to do it extra perfect and then you are looking like an idiot and this is what happened twice today.

“I think there is everything to play for tomorrow,” he added.

“We have a strong race car and we know that they have suffered more in the races but then the cold probably gives them an advantage.

“Straight-line speed they haven’t got available like they have in qualifying, so it’s a totally different ballgame today but I’m still upset about the Saturday.”

 

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