Toto Wolff makes ‘toilet’ comment after Lewis Hamilton, George Russell performance

Mercedes locked out the third row of the grid in qualifying at the season finale.

After a run of strong performances, Mercedes appear to have taken a disappointing step backwards at the season finale in Abu Dhabi following a tough qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.

It does appear that Toto Wolff’s predictions ahead of the weekend were absolutely spot on, with the W13 seemingly struggling at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Whilst the Brackley-based team’s race pace looks promising, their single lap pace was well off Red Bull and concerningly a few tenths off Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ended Q3 almost seven-tenths behind pole sitter Max Verstappen, who has been imperious at the circuit this weekend.

READ: Max Verstappen: I’m fed up with all this bulls***

The Mercedes duo locked out the third row, with a battle with Ferrari looking likely in the race.

Given that both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz qualified ahead of the Silver Arrows, it looks unlikely that the Germans will claim second in the Constructors’ Championship unless Ferrari suffer a complete catastrophe.

After the session Wolff explained that their final qualifying of the year can be “put in the toilet”, with it comically having been World Toilet Day.

“Today, I just heard, is World Toilet Day so I think that is one to put in the toilet,” Wolff told Sky Sports.

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“I think we didn’t get the job done. I think we went backwards and they (Ferrari) did a little step forward,” added the Austrian.

“We went on a high-downforce, high-drag concept in order to have a good race car tomorrow and that was just so slow on the straights.

Hamilton’s record of having won a race in every season he’s competed in does look set to end, unless he perhaps puts in the performance of his life.

His race pace has looked strong throughout Free Practice so a third-place finish is a real possibility should he start the race strong; however, the Red Bull’s will likely be well out of reach.

The Austrians have a couple of tenths over absolutely everyone at Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton believing that he’s losing “six-tenths” to the Red Bull’s just on the main straight.

READ: Alpine boss: Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon could be replaced for Abu Dhabi GP

Given that he starts fifth, it is a tall order for him to overtake both Ferrari’s and both Red Bull’s

“Six-tenths of that is just on the straight,” added Hamilton.

“Bouncing is back, with a vengeance. And that’s definitely losing us time.”