Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, confirms their pace deficit in today’s qualifying was down to the C5 tire compound.
During qualifying today, Mercedes seemed to be losing a significant amount of time to Red Bull in the third sector. To this, Wolff has explained that it is wrong to pinpoint one sector as he says that the car was losing time to their championship contenders through the whole lap.
“We are losing time, in turn one, turn three, turn four… you couldn’t even pinpoint one corner or two corners that are responsible for most of the time loss, it’s tiny bits everywhere.”
“It’s just that over the whole lap we struggle to somehow find lap time, and so there isn’t a silver bullet that we would have as an answer, but simply that overall we need to up our performance in every single area, and that is not only chassis but it’s PU, everywhere.”
This weekend has seen a change in Pirelli’s tire compounds. The softs of last week are this week’s mediums. So, the soft compound tire being used this weekend is new and hasn’t been used before. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas qualified P4 and P5, behind both Sergio Perez and Lando Norris. Wolff reckons the team’s pace deficit is a result of failing to fully optimize on the new tire compound.
“I think that the C5 tire is [seemingly] where we struggle on performance. You can see that McLaren and Lando seem to be going really well on that specific compound and we struggled, and we felt we were underperforming on the C5 in qualifying, too. Nevertheless, there’s quite some learning and the gap to Max isn’t shocking.”