Toto Wolff explains Lewis Hamilton radio message after problems at F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Formula One Toto Wolff

Formula One: Toto Wolff has shed light on Lewis Hamilton's issues at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 18/11/2023

- 11:22

The Silver Arrows endured a mixed day in Nevada

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has backed Lewis Hamilton after the team's issues at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday morning.

The Briton crashed out in Q2 and will start the main event on Sunday 10th on the grid.

Hamilton said he couldn't go any faster on the team radio once he knew he would be unable to compete for pole position.

And Wolff has now backed the Stevenage-born racer and explained what went wrong for his side.

Formula One Lewis Hamilton

Formula One: Lewis Hamilton toiled during F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix qualifying


“Yeah, because he didn’t have any more grip," Wolff said when asked about Hamilton's message.

“We are really talking about four or five degrees of temperature difference between grip and no grip.

“You can see some teams - the McLarens - who play in the front and are out in Q1.

"And the Ferraris put in stunning laps, both of them half a second ahead of everybody else.”

"It remains a mystery," he added.

“Having the tyres in the right window and you can see the difference.

"We saw it in Free Practice 3. Very difficult to understand.”

George Russell, however, will start Sunday's race in third.

The 25-year-old performed well on Saturday morning, with only Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen superior on the day.

Carlos Sainz Jr also produced a good qualifying performance but will start in 12th after being slapped with a grid penalty.

Wolff has now sent a message to Russell, insisting tyre management will be key to his chances of conquering Vegas.

“I think Verstappen and Leclerc are going to be very fast," he said.

“He [Russell] needs to manage [the tyres] from there, be patient until the worst part of the tyre has gone.”

Wolff proceeded to praise Williams for their own display in Sin City, adding: “Yeah, it’s great. Williams, we know they put a lot of heat into their tyres.

“On tracks that are cold and fast, they’re right there. This is another testament today.”

Leclerc, meanwhile, said he was happy with the way he claimed pole on Saturday.

However, he revealed he was disappointed with his performance in P3 despite the positive outcome.

“Of course I'm happy, first in Las Vegas, obviously it's an incredible event," he said.

"However, I'm a bit disappointed with my laps in Q3. I didn't do a good enough job but it was enough for P1 so that is all we need.

"Now all focus is on tomorrow and putting everything together to focus on the race.


Formula One George Russell

Formula One: George Russell performed well during the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix


"Normally that is where we lack most performance, so I will hope we can put it all together and win here."

Many A-listers are set to be at the race on Sunday.

Star Wars actor John Boyega was among those to watch the qualifying action, with the 31-year-old spotted enjoying the spectacle.

You may like