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Wolff: Mercedes benefited from cooler track temperatures

  • Published on 27 Apr 2019 19:21
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Toto Wolff believes that Mercedes was able to gain relative performance over Ferrari in the cooler Baku temperatures, which took it to its third qualifying one-two of the year.

The Silver Arrows locked out the front row with Valtteri Bottas beating teammate Lewis Hamilton to the top spot.

After this morning's final practice session, Ferrari had a gap of 1.4 seconds over Mercedes, who even finished up behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

However, the qualifying session had two major delays due to red flags brought out by Robert Kubica and Charles Leclerc, who both crashed at Turn 8 in Q1 and Q2 respectively.

As the sun sank lower behind the city buildings, the track surface cooled, which Wolff thinks brought Mercedes back into the game against Ferrari.

"They [Ferrari] were very quick yesterday and they were extremely quick in FP3 this morning," Wolff said. "That was something which we didn't know how to solve, because the gap was big.

"When you see this kind of gap, it's not that the car has lost performance, it's just the car is not in the right tyre operating window. 

"The more the [qualifying] session went on, the more we got it there. Towards the end, from a car that was not making the drivers happy in the morning, we ended up with a car in Q3 that was good.

"We gained relative performance with the dropping temperatures. This morning, Ferrari were a league of their own, and once it got cooler, the competitive order changed."

Wolff explains reason behind stopping at the end of the pit lane 

Mercedes also stopped at the end of the pit lane to allow cars to pass before it set its final laps in Q3, ensuring that Bottas and Hamilton would be the last to cross the line.

Wolff explained that the team attempted to do something different after seeing a pattern emerge in recent races, in which other teams would wait for Mercedes to take to the track.

"You always need to evaluate between trying to get a tow effect and compromising your out lap. You can see how wrong it can go, in Shanghai some of the cars weren't able to cross the line.

"So in each of the qualifying sessions, we saw a pack and then everyone waited for us to go out. This time we thought 'we're going to try something else'. 

Replies (5)

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  • cricho

    Posts: 80

    Great team! In another league... Excellent at sandbagging too!

    • + 1
    • Apr 27 2019 - 20:24
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 283

      It can easily be also called gravelbagging.

      • + 0
      • Apr 28 2019 - 03:16
    • They really are the best right now though. Love 'um or hate 'um, I know I'm no fan, but I have max respect for the team as a whole. Excluding the car and PU itself, Mercedes is probably hands down the best team right now, with Red Bull being a second. RP is probably the best team when we take cost efficiency into account though.

      • + 0
      • Apr 28 2019 - 10:42
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 283

      Hate them for the way they are always talking themselves down and putting others on pedestal. But right you are, their efficiency scares me.

      • + 0
      • Apr 28 2019 - 16:20
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    Cut the crap Toto!

    • + 1
    • Apr 28 2019 - 10:00

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