Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admits he was expecting more performance from his team during qualifying in Austria.

Formula 1’s revised sprint format is in play this weekend, and saw qualifying for the grand prix take place on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton was the lead Mercedes car in the field, ending the session in fifth place while George Russell failed to advance into Q3 for the third time this year.

Mercedes was outpaced by Ferrari on Friday, who got close to snatching pole position away from Red Bull.

“Overall [it was] underwhelming,” Wolff told Sky F1. 

“We came with expectations that we would be fighting for P2 or P3, with the Ferraris and Aston Martins, and we underperformed. But obviously, the race is on Sunday so we will see.”

Mercedes is set to unveil another major upgrade at the British Grand Prix next weekend as it continues its recovery towards the front of the grid.

With Ferrari and McLaren showing positive pace in Austria following fresh updates, Wolff is hopeful that Mercedes can showcase a similar jump next week.

“You see that the time gaps are not huge,” Wolff said. “You’re talking two-tenths up and down and it makes a big difference.

“We are bringing something to Silverstone and hopefully it has the impact that McLaren and Ferrari had [with their upgrades] today.”

Russell will be forced to make his way through the field to score strong points for Mercedes following his disappointing qualifying result.

The Briton highlighted that the sole practice session that occurred on Friday made it difficult to find the right balance for his car ahead of qualifying.

“Just not quick enough today,” Russell said. “I think from the first laps in practice just haven’t got the right feel with the car. 

“It’s difficult when you come to a Sprint race weekend, you don’t have a lot of time to make some changes. 

“Let’s see what we can do overnight into tomorrow, obviously P11 is not the best starting position but we’ve had some good results from further down the field so far this year so all is not lost. 

“I think the tyre degradation looked pretty bad in practice, so probably looking like a two-stop race, but need to understand what’s going on at the moment because I’m struggling a bit, especially on Saturdays.”

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