Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the W13 is still bouncing away like a “kangaroo”, leaving Lewis Hamilton and George Russell unimpressed.
This time around Hamilton was the driver able to extract more performance from the W13, qualifying P6 for the first ever Miami Grand Prix, but Russell failed to make Q3.
The W13 looked a real handful for Russell in particular, the Briton lamenting the bouncing as he dropped out in Q2.
Wolff then confirmed the situation has not improved as Mercedes slipped from the highs of topping FP2 to returning to a point where the drivers were not happy with the W13.
It's P6 for LH in Miami. 🌴👊 And a solid starting position for what could be a crazy first #MiamiGP!
George will line up P12 after a trickier Saturday, but we've seen him have some strong Sundays already this season. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/GL9mxIFCuv
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) May 7, 2022
Asked by Sky F1 if the car is handling better now, Wolff replied: “No, not at all.
“I think we have seen a performant car yesterday in FP2 that was real, we were able to put it in the sweet spot and today in FP3 we were completely off with the experiments we did.
“Creeped a little bit back, but the car is still bouncing like a kangaroo, the drivers are not happy with it, and you can see that is the reason why we are off.”
Interestingly though, Wolff said Mercedes’ slide back down the order on Saturday actually helped them to understand their issues better.
“Yeah, definitely got a better handle, also the slump we had from yesterday helped,” Wolff admitted.
“It’s never one thing that is responsible for performance or non-performance, but we had a good car yesterday afternoon, we worsened it a little bit. Some things we understand, others not.”
Hamilton said the team are not improving at the rate they had hoped for this season, but talked up the amount of work going on in the background to change that situation.
“Much better qualifying session than I’ve had for the last few races, so I’m grateful for that to be honest,” he said.
“I’ll take it. We just keep working at it – so much amazing work has gone on in the background, everyone’s working so hard.
“Unfortunately I don’t think we are necessarily moving forward at the rate we would like to. That gap is, I think, similar to at the beginning of the year, so we’ve just got to keep our heads down, keep working, keep focused, keep trundling – eventually we’ll get there.”
Hamilton was then asked for his prospects in the race, but the seven-time former champion was unsure how the W13 was looking in the long runs.
“Difficult to say,” he admitted. “It’s not felt generally better this weekend, but today once I got the tyres into a better place it was feeling a little bit better in qualifying.
“For race pace yesterday I have no idea where we were.”
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