Toto Wolff said the whole team “wasn’t good enough” on the day after Mercedes missed out on pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The W13 has looked at its strongest all season in Mexico with George Russell topping both FP2 and FP3 but it was ultimately not good enough to secure pole, Russell missing out by 0.304 to Verstappen.
Russell was just 0.005sec ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who had a lap deleted in Q3 for exceeding track limits.
Despite this, team principal Wolff said the result “wasn’t good enough from all of us today” even after Mercedes achieved their best qualifying performance of the season.
“We were zero [seconds] to Max before Turn 12 so that could have been pole,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1. “But [it] wasn’t good enough from all of us today.
“I think after FP3 we had a car that was mega [then] track conditions changed a bit, but it’s not a bad starting position for tomorrow.
“We were equal before Turn 12 but they (Red Bull) were really good through the stadium [section] also before, so probably wouldn’t have made it anyway.”
Best qualifying result of the year. Proud 💙💜 pic.twitter.com/6OgHtrOzU4
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 29, 2022
Mercedes‘ recent performance will be a welcome tonic for Wolff, having suffered his hardest season since he became their boss in 2013.
While the team installed an upgrade at the last race in Austin, it has not been until Mexico they have seen the real benefits of that and Wolff believes it is due to the high downforce configuration required for the circuit.
“This is where we are at our best and we’ve brought an update to Austin that functions. So slowly but surely we are creeping back,” said the Austrian.
“The Red Bull is [still] a little bit faster so if we would have been on pole, they would have probably eaten us up on the straight so we are in a better position. But obviously on a Saturday you’d like to be on pole.”
His driver Russell also believed pole was on for the team and said he was “kicking myself” for the “terrible lap” which saw him lose time to Verstappen.
“The team deserved more today,” he told David Coulthard in his parc ferme interview following the session. “They have produced a really great car this weekend.
“I’m kicking myself, but at the end of the day no points for qualifying and excited to be back on the front row.”