Toto Wolff 'fed up' as Lewis Hamilton toils in qualifying for F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

F1 news Toto Wolff

F1 news: Toto Wolff is 'fed up' after Lewis Hamilton's qualifying disaster at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 25/11/2023

- 16:45

The Briton could only finish 11th with hopes of a first race win since 2021 still hanging in the balance

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has confessed he's 'fed up' after Lewis Hamilton struggled in qualifying for the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Briton will start the main event in 11th after once again enduring a difficult session.

Hamilton was once the best driver on the planet, an unparalleled champion nobody was able to reel in.

Yet those days are long gone and the Stevanage-born racer has admitted he has 'no answers' to his woes.

F1 news Lewis Hamilton

F1 news: Lewis Hamilton struggled in qualifying the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


And Wolff has now admitted he's 'fed up' of having to explain why qualifying hasn't gone well, while also praising the way his side performed as a whole.

“[Final practice] was even, I would say, dominant,” the Austrian told Sky.

“[Lando] Norris could have probably been there and would have been there also by the way in qualifying.

“It just didn’t come together. Probably that’s what was in the car.

"But our expectations were higher temperatures.”

Wolff added: “I’m fed up with having explanations why it didn’t go well.

“We were good in the hot, we weren’t in the cold, the previous day it was the other way around.

“So I’m happy that this was the last qualifying of the season and we’re going to come with a new car.”

Hamilton sounded downbeat when quizzed directly after the session, admitting Mercedes will need to regroup in order to improve.

"Not great. Just struggling with balance. I don't have any answers," said the veteran, who has won five times in Abu Dhabi in previous years.

"Honestly, at this point it is what it is. We set our cars up the same but they don't read the same.

"There's something not right on our side.

"I'm sure we will dive into it but all weekend we have struggled with the car.

"Two takes some good going for me not to get into Q3, so I will try and move my way up tomorrow."

George Russell was, however, one positive for Mercedes.

The 25-year-old will start Sunday's race in the Middle East in fourth, building on his fine qualifying showdown in Las Vegas last week.

Russell has now revealed he's been suffering with illness over the past fortnight.

And he's joked that it's helped make him a better and more competitive driver.

“I’ve been really ill the last two weeks and I’ve been really quick - I don’t know if I need to be ill more often," Russell remarked.

“I’ve been super comfortable in the car. I’ve had three hours sleep so I don’t know if that’s what people are missing?”


F1 news George Russell

F1 news: George Russell was happy with the way he performed at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


And while Russell has 'mixed feelings', he's determined to ensure Mercedes stay second in the constructors' championship.

“Mixed feelings right now, definitely would of taking P4 ahead of the weekend, but after this morning’s performance, we were quickest every single lap, we only improved six tenths from practice to qualifying,” he added.

"Considering it’s much colder, we had much less fuel in the car, we didn’t make the jump we should have, that was a little bit disappointing."

“On the race pace for tomorrow and the fight with Ferrari and McLaren."

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