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Wolff critical of Mercedes performance in Japanese GP Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured P7 and P9, respectively, for the 2024 Japanese GP

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In the aftermath of a challenging qualifying session at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has offered a cautiously optimistic outlook despite the team’s mixed results. 

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell secured P7 and P9, respectively, a standing that Wolff acknowledged was “not great” but underscored a significant improvement from the team’s performance at the same circuit last year.

“The headline result of P7 and P9 is not great,” Wolff said in a statement. “The positive though is that we are not too far off the second row, just one tenth or so, at a track that was one of, if not the worst, last year. 

“We seem to have taken a step in the right direction with the car this weekend. Everyone is pushing so hard to understand more about the W15 and how we can build on the platform we have. To see progress is therefore encouraging.”

Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Japanese GP | Mercedes

Tough to predict 2024 Japanese GP

Looking ahead to the race, Wolff‘s analysis suggests a tight contest behind the dominant Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, highlighting the slender margins that separate the chasing pack, but emphasised the importance of Mercedes leveraging their improved understanding of the W15 to secure the best possible result.

“It is difficult to predict what tomorrow’s race will look like,” Wolff continued. “The pack behind Red Bull is very tight so we will see what we can do. 

“The long run data from Friday, and today’s qualifying session, shows that it could be close. We will look to maximise everything we do and the package we have to score the best result possible.”

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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