Wolff: Hamilton was looking for pole

lewis hamilton wolff pole dutch gp

Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton could have taken pole position for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix but a late yellow flag scuppered the Mercedes driver’s chances of doing so, but optimism for the race prevails.

Instead, of course, first place goes to local hero Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez spun in his final Q3 race, ruining those behind him, including Hamilton and his teammate George Russell.

What could have been was not how Mercedes team boss Wolff had to accept: “It’s very frustrating, we were a tenth ahead of Verstappen and Leclerc, so Lewis was on pole. We were ahead.

“Obviously not the case in the end. “I think [Perez] he pushed a lot and lost it. It’s not her fault. You lose pole for a yellow flag or you lose pole by a few hundredths for running first. It is always later that you know better.”

Wolff was referring to the fact that the Silver Arrows were the last to hit the track for the final shot of Q3, which always carries the risk of a yellow flag sector spoiling things, as it did for the drivers on Saturday. of Mercedes.

Wolff: We have a strong race car that has been in a good place all weekend

hamilton mercedes wolff dutch f1 gp

While pole begged Hamilton, he is set to line up fourth on the grid ahead of Russell in sixth, from where Wolff believes there are opportunities for his drivers: “We have a strong race car that has been in a good place all the time. Weekend. and starting in the second row, tomorrow everything is possible.

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“We developed a car that gains a lot of downforce with a low ride height and sometimes you can’t run low because you’re hitting the ground. You are forced to make set-up concessions that take the car away from its sweet spot, but here in Zandvoort we can find that spot much more easily,” added Wolff.

Track boss Andrew Shovlin is also confident that the race could bode well for Mercedes: We did some race work this morning during final practice.

“Both drivers were encouraged by the way the car was handling and the care of their tyres, so hopefully it bodes well for tomorrow. It’s also hard to know where everyone is going in terms of strategy for tomorrow.

“There was not a lot of long-term data due to a number of red flags, so it may be that we see a variety of strategies up and down the grid that could give us an opportunity. We normally run better than we qualified for and if that was the case we should be able to make good progress in the race,” Shovlin concluded.

Mercedes are yet to win a Grand Prix this season, and they are out of contention in the drivers’ title race, and are uncomfortably behind in the constrictors’ standings.

Victory in the Netherlands on Sunday would go a long way in turning the tide of their season but, first, they need to get past the feisty duo of Ferrari and the rampaging Verstappen, who are looking to ignite the Orange Army with back-to-back victories on home soil. .

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