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The 10km/h deficit that exposes Mercedes’ ongoing weak spot in F1

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Though George Russell exceeded expectations in qualifying at Monza with fourth place on the grid, lower than 4 tenths off pole, it has come regardless of some apparent automotive limitations.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes nothing reveals that greater than the velocity entice figures from Saturday, the place the Silver Arrows squad ended up on the backside of the rankings.

Evaluation of the highest speeds by way of qualifying on Saturday confirmed Russell (338.6km/h) and Lewis Hamilton (340.6km/h) had been slowest general by way of the official velocity entice that’s located 212 metres earlier than the primary chicane.

Their tempo is effectively adrift of pole man Carlos Sainz (350.8km/h), with the quickest man by way of the velocity entice being Kevin Magnussen (351.9km/h). Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen ended up being registered at 344km/h.

Reflecting on that knowledge, which was backed by the Mercedes duo being slowest by way of the velocity entice on the strategy to the Ascari Chicane, Wolff defined that the deficit had nothing to do with downforce decisions the workforce had made.

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As a substitute, it pointed to a season-long drawback that the German producer has confronted with its automotive not having adequate aero-efficiency.

“I feel we’re simply too draggy,” he defined. “The automotive is simply too draggy for this type of high-speed race monitor.

“Once you take a look at the highest speeds, and I’ve simply appeared on the [speed trap] sheet, we’re backside finish just about in every single place.

George Russell, Mercedes W14

Photograph by: Erik Junius

“You possibly can nonetheless be excessive drag and never quick on the straight, and nonetheless pull out an excellent lap time. However general, usually we’ve been too draggy for Monza, positively.”

Realizing that the W14 has been weak in straightline speeds this 12 months, Wolff mentioned that Russell’s grid end result left his workforce fairly glad with the progress it has made.

“We had been 1.2 seconds off final 12 months,” he mentioned. “We knew that low downforce would not swimsuit us, after Spa and likewise Baku.

“The automotive needs to be fast in every single place, however these had been the problematic tracks for us, so contemplating the time hole from our faster automotive to the entrance guys, I feel we’ve purpose to be to be semi-satisfied.”

Wolff reckoned there was some worth available in digging deeper to turnaround its kind after seeing what Ferrari has skilled from its difficulties in Zandvoort to being on pole at Monza.

“It is fairly attention-grabbing as a result of, if you take a look at the weekend within the Netherlands and the excessive downforce weekends, they are not very aggressive,” he mentioned. “You then come right here, and they’re giving it an enormous blast and Verstappen a run for his cash.

“Whether or not they can actually translate that into tempo over the entire race, that must be seen. I feel for me Verstappen remains to be the favorite for the race, as a result of general the automotive has simply been so good, and he has been faultless.

“However will probably be good for F1, I assume, if they provide him a tough time and, seeing a Ferrari win in Monza. If it will probably’t be us, it needs to be Ferrari.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, is interviewed

Toto Wolff, Crew Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG, is interviewed

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Aware concerning the prime velocity problem, Russell himself was remaining cautious about his race prospects, as overtaking shall be so arduous.

“I feel it’ll be difficult,” mentioned the Briton. “I feel we’ll have good race tempo. The tyre deg would not look very excessive. It by no means actually is right here in Monza.

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“And with the thin rear wings, overtaking will not be really that straightforward as a result of, even if you open the DRS, you solely achieve one or two tenths.

“We should be sooner on pitstops. I count on to have higher deg than Ferrari, so our solely probability is to be sooner on the pitstops and do one thing totally different to them.”

F1 Italian GP qualifying most speeds (velocity entice solely)

  Driver Velocity KM/H
1 Magnussen 351.9
2 Sainz 350.8
3 Zhou 350.1
4 Lawson 350.1
5 Bottas 349.4
6 Albon 349.1
7 Leclerc 348.9
8 Sargeant 347.6
9 Ocon 346.9
10 Norris 346.8
11 Alonso 346.5
12 Tsunoda 346.5
13 Gasly 346.3
14 Perez 345.9
15 Verstappen 344.0
16 Stroll 343.6
17 Piastri 343.5
18 Hulkenberg 341.3
19 Hamilton 340.6
20 Russell 338.6

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