Mercedes Formula One boss Toto Wolff said he was fed up with explanations for his car’s poor performance after practice pace turned into qualifying disappointment at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
George Russell had been top in final practice but the Briton had the fourth quickest car in qualifying behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
“It just didn’t come together. Probably that’s what was in the car but expectations were higher,” Wolff told Sky Sports television.
“I’m fed up with having explanations why it didn’t go well. We were good in the hot, we weren’t in the cold. Previous days it has been the other way around.
“I’m happy that this was the last qualifying of the season and we’re going to come with a new car (in 2024).”
Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton qualified only 11th and said he had struggled with the car’s balance.
Sunday’s race represents Mercedes’ last chance to avoid their first winless season since 2011.
“It’s been a strange day,” said Russell, who had felt pole was possible after practice but then suffered a loss of grip in qualifying.
“We definitely would have taken P4 ahead of the weekend but after this morning’s performance, we were quickest every single lap.
“We only improved six tenths from practice to qualifying, considering it was much colder and we had much less fuel in the car. We didn’t make the jump that we should have.”
Once-dominant Mercedes are in a tight battle with Ferrari for second overall, with the Italians only four points behind them and Leclerc on the front row while Spaniard Carlos Sainz starts 16th.
“We’re in a good position, I feel pretty relaxed,” said Russell.