Wolff Admits Teams Surpass Mercedes in Performance

Mercedes had a challenging start to the season with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finishing P5 and P7 in Bahrain, attributed to issues with power unit temperatures and tyre performance, with Toto Wolff acknowledging the team as the third quickest behind Ferrari and Red Bull and emphasizing the need for analysis and learning ahead of the Saudi Arabia race.

Highlights

‣ Mercedes had a challenging start to the season, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finishing P5 and P7 respectively in Bahrain, falling behind both Ferraris during the race.

‣ Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal, acknowledged the team was the third quickest behind Ferrari and Red Bull, citing significant performance gaps and issues with managing power unit temperatures due to excessive lift and coast tactics.

‣ Wolff highlighted the need for the team to understand their performance drop on harder tyres and the cooling level misjudgment, which led to a loss in tyre performance and overall pace.

‣ Looking ahead to the race in Saudi Arabia, Wolff emphasized the importance of learning from the early season troubles and maintaining a “glass-half-empty” mindset to identify and resolve the team’s issues.


Mercedes? Oh, they stumbled right out of the gate this season. Picture this: George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, two titans of the track, only managed to snag P5 and P7 at Bahrain. Russell was sniffing at the podium’s heels early on, but then, whoosh, both Ferraris zipped past him. It was a scene, alright.

Toto Wolff, the man steering the Mercedes ship, had a chat with Sky Sports post-race. “Look, considering the mess we’re in, this is about right,” he said. Mercedes, according to him, is trailing behind the Ferraris and that Red Bull. “We’re not just behind Max; we’re in a whole different universe. So, yeah, we’ve got some homework to do.”

And then, Wolff dished out more. Apparently, Bahrain threw them a curveball. “It was bizarre,” he admitted. During the race, they had to dial back, doing this whole lift-and-coast thing to keep the power unit from boiling over. “We might’ve gone overboard sealing it up. And our pace? Just vanished into thin air.”

He didn’t stop there. “Max? He was off in his own world. And us? We’re scratching our heads over the hard tyre debacle. Got our cooling all wrong, which meant more lifting and coasting. And that just murders your tyre performance. It’s like we were stuck in a loop of doom.”

‘The team have to learn’

With Saudi Arabia on the horizon, Mercedes is in a race against time to iron out these kinks. “There’s a mountain of stuff we’ve got to figure out. I can’t even begin to explain the pace issue because we’re still piecing the puzzle together. Hopefully, the data sheds some light,” Wolff pondered.

He wrapped up with a bit of philosophy. “Even during our golden streak of eight wins, I was the party pooper. Staying pessimistic keeps us sharp. We’ve got to dig deep to climb out of this hole.”

So, there you have it. Mercedes, with all its might, is facing an uphill battle. But if history’s taught us anything, it’s never to count them out too soon.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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