“I think qualifying can be a very, very difficult session for us”– Toto Wolff after Mercedes’ poor outing in Baku on Friday’s practice sessions.
Mercedes doesn’t seem to be confident ahead of the qualifying round of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, owing to their poor performances in the practice sessions.
Moreover, Mercedes’ mindset when coming to the street circuit has been poor this year, as Toto Wolff already confessing that W12 is not an ideal car for such tracks and have maintained the same thought ahead of qualifying in Baku.
“I think qualifying can be a very, very difficult session for us,” admitted Toto Wolff, “probably one of the most difficult I’ve ever seen for us. It reminds me of Singapore ’15, but we’ll take it on the chin.”
“Today was a day of data collection analysis, but definitely, what we have seen in Monaco is a bit of a prolongation into Baku that there are certain parts of the track that we just don’t perform.”
It’s all stop and goes, and it’s all 90-degree corners or tricky Monaco-style. So it was always clear that that would be difficult for us. On the other hand, I believe we have a good race car,” he insisted, “so there’s ground to recover on Sunday and learn.”
“It is what it is, we are trying to go as fast as possible with the kit that is available.”
Mercedes’ worst Friday
While Wolff kept an optimistic tone, Andrew Shovlin was more candid about Mercedes’ struggles and had some issues with his team’s performance on Friday.
“Today was our worst Friday by some margin, our biggest issue seemed to be the single lap,” he admitted, “we’re a long way from our normal positions so clearly we need to find something very significant there.”
“The long run picture was not as bad,” he added, “a fair bit behind Red Bull but still in the mix. We’re planning a comprehensive programme of analysis and simulator work to try and understand some of these issues but we clearly have an awful lot to find.”