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Nico Rosberg startled by Lewis Hamilton and George Russell woes – 'It is unbelievable'


Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has labelled Mercedes’ continued struggles ‘unbelievable’ after another tough day for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. The duo failed to make it beyond Q2 at Imola, with the same issues cropping up to spoil the Silver Arrows’ chances of gate-crashing the business end of the grid. 

As drivers embark on their fourth race weekend of the season, Mercedes appear no closer to getting on top of their crippling porpoising issue. All at the factory are believed to be working their fingers to the bone in an attempt to get the team back on track, but they are still some way off the leaders. 

Hamilton and Russell were left to wrestle their bouncing Mercedes’ around Imola, and both drivers squeezed through Q1 by the skin of their teeth. Indeed, they looked to be heading for bottom-five disaster before they were both saved by their final hot laps. 

“My goodness it is unbelievable to see how Mercedes is struggling out there,” Rosberg told Sky Sports during the day’s first qualifying session, “You can see the jumping with George Russell, it just gives you back and headaches just watching it, it is unbelievable.

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“You get to the end of the straight and you have to slam the brakes and you have no confidence to attack the car when it is bouncing like that. They are really fighting with that car and they cannot seem to understand what to do to sort it out aerodynamically. It is incredible to see them back there. I think they will go out in Q2.”

Indeed, the former Mercedes man’s prediction came true as Russell wound up in P11 and Hamilton two further back in P13. The latter has taken the brunt of the fall-out given his seven world titles, and he has painted a grim picture on numerous occasions this season. 

Sandwiched between the Mercedes duo is Haas’ Mick Schumacher, while Russell is likely to have a hard time fighting past Carlos Sainz directly ahead of him in the Ferrari unless he can follow the Spaniard in working his way through the pack. 

Max Verstappen tops the pile with Charles Leclerc making up the front row. Friday’s chaotic qualifying sessions could be followed my more drama on Saturday, with Imola already having punished numerous drivers in the damp weather. 



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