Toto Wolff explains Mercedes’ drop in performance in Qualifying

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After topping Friday’s Miami Grand Prix FP2, Mercedes’ performance dropped on Saturday. Team boss Toto Wolff explains what happened.

Mercedes was the biggest surprise of Friday’s Miami Grand Prix free practice, with George Russell topping FP2.

However, in Saturday’s Qualifying, the young Briton got eliminated in Q2, while Lewis Hamilton managed to get P6.

After the session, team boss Toto Wolff explained what caused the drop in performance.

“On Friday, although we hadn’t seen [Max] Verstappen [due to problems with his car], we were pretty competitive,” the Austrian said.

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“But it got away from us in that we tried to optimise the level of downforce for FP3, which kind of threw us back on that bouncing curve and we weren’t able to cure it for qualifying either whilst going back to what we had on Friday.

“We tried something that didn’t seem like a big change but affected the car badly. We went all the way back.

“In the end, in qualifying, the drivers suffered again with the bouncing which has such an effect on the braking zones, on what the tyres are doing, with the consequence we have ended up sixth and 12th.

“The learning is exponentially tough but we would have hoped for better,” Wolff concluded.

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