Wolff says Mercedes can win first race of year in Hungary after stunning first pole for Russell
TREMAYNE: Why F1 will lose one of its greats – both on and off track – when Vettel retires at the end of 2022
STRATEGY GUIDE: What are the possible race strategies for the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix?
F2: Jack Doohan wins Budapest Sprint Race in style
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team can end a barren run of form and win their first race of the season after George Russell secured a shock pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix…
The Silver Arrows have had a difficult season, with their qualifying pace traditionally worse than their race performance all year long.
But they made a huge step in performance from Friday through to Saturday in Hungary, having endured their worst opening day of a race weekend all season according to Russell, and were on the pace in cooler conditions throughout qualifying at the Hungaroring.
READ MORE: Russell beats Sainz to take shock maiden pole at Hungaroring as Red Bulls hit trouble
Russell snatched pole from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with the second red car of Charles Leclerc third, and that form has led Wolff to suggest they can convert pole into their first victory since last year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
“The truth is, we saw it from the beginning of qualifying that our tyres were in the right window, the car was balanced, and everything kind of came together and then the two [drivers] drove it really well, gained confidence from run to run that the grip was actually there, and this is the result,” he said.
ONBOARD: George Russell's 2022 Pirelli Pole Position Award lap at the Hungarian Grand Prix
“That’s a solid result. We were always off the pace on a single lap; now we’re on pole so let’s see what we can do with that tomorrow in the race and if we’re able to have the pace there, I believe that we are part of the fun and games in the front again.
“If we can maintain the position at the start, and be first coming out of the first lap, and drive a solid race, have some good stops – why not? We can win this.”
READ MORE: Alpine duo elated with ‘awesome’ qualifying showing as they lock out third row in Hungary