Wolff 'underwhelmed' by Mercedes performance in Austria

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admitted to being "underwhelmed" so far by the performance displayed by his team in Austria.

On Friday, while Lewis Hamilton set the fifth fastest lap in qualifying, his teammate George Russell missed out on the top-ten shootout for the third consecutive race.

But more importantly, the Brackley squad was unexpectedly outpaced by rival Ferrari in the Friday afternoon session, and also by Lando Norris' updated McLaren.

"Overall [it was] underwhelming," Wolff told Sky F1. "We came with expectations that we would be fighting for P2 or P3, with the Ferraris and Aston Martins, and we underperformed.

"But obviously, the race is on Sunday so we will see."

Mercedes will introduce another upgrade package next week at Silverstone, and Wolff hopes the changes will bring the German outfit back into play.

"You see that the time gaps are not huge," the Austrian added. "You’re talking two-tenths up and down and it makes a big difference.

"We are bringing something to Silverstone and hopefully it has the impact that McLaren and Ferrari had [with their upgrades] today."


Unfortunately, Mercedes went from the frying pan into the fire in Saturday's Sprint qualifying, with neither Russell nor Hamilton reaching SQ3. The pair will start the afternoon Sprint respectively P15 and P18.

"[The] Sprint race doesn't really matter anyway," said Hamilton. "We'll just have some fun from the back, it is what it is."

On the other side of the Mercedes garage, Russell was prevented from taking part in SQ2 due to a hydraulic failure but claimed that his pace "was looking strong" up until that point.

"[There is] no reason why we couldn't have had a better qualifying today, especially with the new set of Softs we had going into SQ3," he said.

"Top five would have been definitely on the cards so it's just not our weekend.

"It's one of those things of when it rains it pours. So we'll see what we can do this afternoon and tomorrow and definitely try to match it next week."

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