Wolff looks to capitalise on surprise Mercedes qualifying in Australia

Mercedes managed to leapfrog Aston Martin in Australia to qualifying second and third on the grid.


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has said the team will be looking to push on from a better-than-expected qualifying performance at the Australian GP.

George Russell will start the race in Melbourne from second, qualifying two tenths behind pole sitter Max Verstappen, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton just behind in third.

The session marked the first time that the team have out-qualified the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso this season.

Wolff told Sky Sports F1 that the team would be looking to capitalise on the result, while warning that the Red Bull of Max Verstappen was still out of reach.

“I think it’s good starting second and third. It’s been a while since we have had no one really in front of our line in second,” Wolff said.

“So just try to make the best out of it. Verstappen is in a league of his own, but maybe we can then slot in.”

Pushing forward

Mercedes have had a disappointing start to the 2023 F1 season, falling further behind Red Bull and slipping back to the third-fastest team with the rise of Aston Martin.

The results have forced the team to admit that their design philosophy was not working, with a change of tack in the works to try and close the gap to the front.

But Wolff said that the team had managed to work on their weaknesses, with the results beginning to show in Australia.

“We just got it together now over the weekend, we just grinded away with getting performance out of the car and got the right mechanical setup, I’m happy,” Wolff said.

“We need a little bit of happiness. And that for a Saturday today, we got some of that.”


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