Toto Wolff: “I think with Lewis where he is, we can win it”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ poor Russian Grand Prix Qualifying result wasn’t caused by a mistake from Lewis Hamilton or the team.

Lewis Hamilton qualified in P4 and Valtteri Bottas in P7 for the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis final flying lap was compromised firstly by a crash into the pit entry wall, and later by a crash into the barriers.

However, Toto Wolff says Lewis’ self-admitted mistake is not the reason for Mercedes’ poor result.

“There are these situations which are really unfortunate, it’s not even that we made a mistake or the drivers contributed to it,” the Austrian told Sky Sports F1.

“We were the first cars out in the session and that is why we were in a sequence that either we would have aborted the last two runs on the intermediate to get two soft runs in or, like we played it safe, finish the lap, which we did.

“At the end, even without Lewis’ kiss on the way, we wouldn’t have been able to do two laps. Honestly, if you let me turn back [time], what we would change is not to go out first on the track but to go out a minute later.

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“But knowing that this would have these consequences at the end is crystal ball reading, so at the end of the day it was unlucky, it cost us P1 and P2 on the grid.

“We need to turn it around tomorrow but these things sometimes go against you. It’s a lap-two tyre is the slick, and I’m sure we would have been fast enough for the front row.

“But with one lap you have no chance to heat it up.”

However, Toto believes a win for Mercedes is still possible.

“I think with Lewis where he is, we can win it and this should be the aim if everything goes well. And with Valtteri, when he starts from seventh, there are other considerations we have at the moment.

“If he starts from seventh, I think, easily back onto the podium. That must be the target,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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