Wolff explains ‘messy’ qualifying session after Russell out in Q1

Russell's teammate Hamilton would go on to seal his first pole position since Saudi Arabia in 2021.

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Toto Wolff has said it was Mercedes’ fault that George Russell went out in the first part of qualifying for the Hungarian GP, meaning he will start the race from back in 18th.

Russell’s Q1 exit was the shock of the early part of the session, with the Mercedes car showing good pace which would eventually translate into Lewis Hamilton snatching pole from Max Verstappen by just 0.003s.

Russell voiced his frustration with being caught up in traffic and not having enough time to go for another flying lap, and Wolff told media after the session that it was an error on the part of the team.

“I think at the Q1 was overall messy, not only for us, but for many others, it’s just so many cars on a single piece of track,” he said. “We just put them in the wrong position, the first one was already compromised. And then, obviously, everybody bunched up in the last corner was far from ideal, we know that.

“And then there are no codes any more between the drivers because he was overtaken by three cars between the second between 10, 13 and 14. And that obviously completely screws your last lap, but we need to take it on us that we haven’t put them in a better position.

“And on the positive side, clearly we had a better package today that was competitive. Lewis, just put in a great lap, and put it on pole. And I think that’s something we can be really, we can be really proud of.”

Unpredictable car

Many drivers struggled for consistency on the tight, winding corners of the Hungaroring across Friday and Saturday, and while Mercedes have gained in pace, Wolff noted that the car remains unpredictable for the drivers.

“The biggest weakness in the car is not the lack of downforce. It is that the cars are unpredictable. The drivers never have the confidence really pushing it hard in qualifying.

“And I think what we had the car they had today was was something that was gave confidence and allowed them actually to push without thinking that, you know, they could step out on the entry and exit of the corner.

“This is I think the main area, we need to work out making giving them a car balance that is just more predictable.”

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