Toto Wolff pins blame on one driver for Lewis Hamilton Q2 exit

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes' Toto Wolff at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Mercedes' Toto Wolff at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was far from pleased with an instance of impeding from Yuki Tsunoda which he blamed for Lewis Hamilton exiting Dutch GP qualifying at the Q2 stage.

Hamilton was left with one final push lap to escape the Q2 elimination zone and secure his place in Q3, a challenge which he was unsuccessful in.

Instead, Hamilton is set to start the Dutch Grand Prix from P13, thanks to one driver in particular to Wolff’s mind.

Toto Wolff lashes out at impeding of Lewis Hamilton

Both Tsunoda and Lance Stroll were subject to stewards’ investigation for allegedly impeding Hamilton, Wolff pointing the finger specifically at the Tsunoda incident as the cause for Hamilton’s shock Q2 exit.

The stewards ultimately moved to hit Tsunoda with a three-place grid penalty, while no further action was taken against Stroll.

“It’s a shame because the pace was there all weekend and we would have had two cars competing right in the front,” Wolff told Sky F1.

“Overall the session a mixture between maybe being too close to [Lando] Norris, but that’s not the main thing, the impeding is just a disaster in Q2 and I think on this quickest lap, he was impeded by Tsunoda going into the final straight and that cost the position.

“I think the backing off on the first flying lap would be us, because he was too close to Norris and then you are a little bit out of sync, but I think the thing was the impeding. You need to have this one lap at the end and he didn’t have that.” recommends

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It was at least a positive showing for Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell who secured P3 on the grid, but for a team which won eight Constructors’ titles in a row from 2014-21, it is understandable that the positions below P1 do not give Wolff great satisfaction.

Asked if he is happy with P3 for Russell, Wolff replied: “Yeah, that makes me smile more because he had a difficult weekend also and then it came together.

“He was very quick at the end, we probably lost two, three-tenths in the first sector, so it could have been P2.

“But we need to concentrate on the future and winning races and not being sad about P2 versus P3.”

Hamilton goes into the Dutch Grand Prix with P3 in the Drivers’ Championship in sight, the Mercedes driver just a point behind Fernando Alonso who holds that position.

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