Toto Wolff says he has “no explanation” for Russell’s pole lap

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Toto Wolff says he told Andrew Shovlin to “write down everything we did today from this morning onwards, including the food, to retrace why it’s going so well”.

George Russell and Mercedes stunned everybody today with an amazing pole lap at the Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying.

The team seems to have stunned itself too, as Toto Wolff says he still can’t explain Mercedes’ sudden improvement in performance.

“I have no explanation,” the Austrian said.

“I said to Shov [Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin] to write down everything we did today from this morning onwards, including the food, to retrace why it’s going so well.

“But honestly, this season has been an oscillation between depression and exuberance, sometimes changing from day to day.

“Yesterday we tried things that didn’t work at all but gave us a bit more direction for today.

“To be honest, this year is a painful exercise, and today is one of the days where against all tendencies of the season, where we’ve been really bad in qualifying but performing well on the Sunday, we’ve actually unlocked some potential in the car.


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“If we can prove tomorrow our race pace hasn’t suffered then I would see us back in a solid position.”

Wolff was then asked to describe his emotions during the pole lap.

“It was quite an interesting experience because we knew it was going quick on our used soft. We were already quite competitive.

“Then we put on the new tyre and the first reaction was ‘No! The DRS is stuck on Lewis’ car’.

“Then the first sector came in and we see the delta time running and I remember saying to the engineers, I think we are playing for pole here, and there was silence on the other side.

“After sector two, yes, it was going to be awfully tight.

“These are the moments I cherish in Formula 1, it comes unexpected but the performance is really there and you do it,” Wolff concluded.

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