Toto Wolff couldn’t understand the oscillations between drivers but he feels it was down to tyre grip and Max Verstappen was the only one who understood.

The gap in performances in Abu Dhabi between F1 teammates were evident especially at Mercedes with George Russell high up the order and Lewis Hamilton down in the order. It was seen in Ferrari with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

That was difficult for Wolff to understand and comprehend but he felt it was down to tyre grip which has made it difficult for even F1 teams to get it right. The sweet spot is very marginal and only Verstappen has been consistent to get it right in 2023.

“It was difficult to put the car in the sweet spot, we saw that with Carlos and also with Lewis,” said Wolff. “We had two guys at the back. It’s just difficult to comprehend that good drivers in various teams have this oscillations of performance.

“You’ve seen it in Abu Dhabi with Sainz and Leclerc. You’ve seen it with George and Lewis. Oscar and Lando and the obvious one is Perez and Verstappen; Perez is not a second slower than Max,” he pointed out. “So, what is that?

“Because we have seen it swing in both directions. So, fundamentally, I think it’s all around the tyre grip, if you are able to have the car in a sweet spot, a stable platform that you start to work with in the beginning of the weekend, then you can expect performance.

“I think if you’re not; there is just no performance, you are falling off the cliff literally,” the Mercedes team boss surmised. So, I have no explanation for that, I think the only one this year who has understood how to drive these tyres is Max,” summed up Wolff.

Here’s Toto Wolff under scanner again for conflict

Here’s George Russell on heavy workload

Here’s George Russell, Toto Wolff on Charles Leclerc’s tactics

Here’s Pierre Gasly on contact with Lewis Hamilton

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