Austrian GP: Mercedes F1 team surprised by advantage over Ferrari

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg and team boss Toto Wolff were surprised by the gap back to rival Ferrari in Austrian Grand Prix qualifying

Austrian GP: Mercedes F1 team surprised by advantage over Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes another front row lockout at the Red Bull Ring, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third, 0.355 seconds off the pace, and Kimi Raikkonen 18th.

"We're surprised Sebastian wasn't closer in qualifying today," said Rosberg. 'We were expecting them to be pretty quick.

"In terms of race pace, they're going to be very close to us for sure, so it's good to be starting in front of them."

Wolff agreed but added that Ferrari's decision to try and do it's best qualifying time on the first lap of a run, rather than the third like Mercedes, may be a reason for the gap.

"The gap is bigger than expected," said Wolff. "I was a bit surprised by the strategy.

"We learned over the weekend that we needed a second or even a third lap to get the tyres in the operating window.

"Ferrari decided to go the other way, with the first lap.

"I don't know if this is the reason why we have more gap than expected."

However, Wolff suggested Ferrari would be closer in the race following its strong long-run pace during practice.

"You can't really say what will happen tomorrow, because the long runs look pretty difficult for us," he said.

"The Ferrari was the quickest car this morning and yesterday afternoon.

"Yes we have a front row lockout but if you look at the gaps, and also because of the shortness of the track, I'm not feeling as confident for tomorrow as the feeling I've had the last couple of races."

VETTEL HOPEFUL FOR SUNDAY

Vettel said while he was unable to match Mercedes in qualifying he hoped Ferrari would be closer in the race.

"We're always ready, we always fight and obviously wait for our chances," he said.

"So far it's been quite difficult because they've been bloody quick but yeah, we'll try tomorrow.

"Hopefully we can be a bit closer. We know that qualifying doesn't match the race, so we're ready to attack and try our best."

When asked about Ferrari's qualifying strategy, the German said: "We were fast, we were happy on the first lap.

"I think in the end you do what you feel is best for you so that seemed to be the best for us."

shares
comments
Austrian GP: Final F1 grid with Red Bull and McLaren penalties
Previous article

Austrian GP: Final F1 grid with Red Bull and McLaren penalties

Next article

Austria a key race for tech upgrades

Austria a key race for tech upgrades
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023