Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says his Formula 1 team is not in “a happy place” following their pace deficit during the three practice sessions and the reliability problems that are facing his team.
In the warmer, Friday conditions, the Mercedes Formula 1 team failed to even get within a second of the mighty Red Bull’s, who have now undoubtedly claimed ‘favorite’ status for pole position ahead of qualifying in Mexico City.
However, during the cooler final practice session, the Mercedes team was able to close the gap to F1 rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. Whilst Max Verstappen continued to lead during a very busy final practice session, Lewis Hamilton closed the gap to be within three tenths of the Dutchman – and with Mercedes’ engine modes available for qualifying, the Brit certainly has a reasonable shot at pole position.
As their form with one car improved, Valtteri Bottas was hit with a hydraulic problem in the other Mercedes, and was forced to pull over at the stadium section, and barely got any dry running during final practice.
Given the severity of Bottas’ problems on his Mercedes, there is a great chance the Finn will not make it to qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, and stands a great chance of enduring grid penalties for tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix, after team principal Toto Wolff suggested the Finn was set for engine changes.
Speaking after a busy end to final practice in Mexico City, Toto Wolff said: “We are not in a happy place,” speaking to Sky Sports F1.
Addressing the problem on Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes Formula One car, the Mercedes chief said the Finn was set for an “engine swap”.