Wolff Ranks Mercedes Among Top Teams

Mercedes, despite not achieving a victory or podium finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix and facing unexpected engine cooling issues similar to their customer team Williams, remains optimistic about their performance improvements and competitiveness for the season, according to Toto Wolff.

Highlights

– ‣ Mercedes finished four seconds closer to Verstappen in the Bahrain Grand Prix compared to the previous year, indicating some level of improvement.
– ‣ Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes, remained optimistic about the team’s performance and the car’s stability and handling based on the pre-season testing and the initial race.
– ‣ Mercedes and their customer team, Williams, encountered unexpected cooling issues with their engines during the race, affecting their performance.
– ‣ Despite Red Bull’s dominance, Wolff believes that Mercedes, along with Ferrari and McLaren, are in a similar competitive range and can improve their standings by addressing their current issues.


Mercedes didn’t take the win in Bahrain. That honor went to Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, again. They’re just too good. Mercedes? They missed the podium by a bit, with George Russell landing in fifth at the Bahrain Grand Prix. But, if you squint, there’s a silver lining. They closed the gap on Verstappen by four seconds compared to last year’s race on the same track. Not too shabby, huh?

Toto Wolff, ever the optimist, found the positives after the season’s first race. “Testing went pretty well for us,” he shared with GPblog and others. The car’s performance on Thursday and Friday? Encouraging. “The car was stable, good. The drivers were happy.” And the race start on soft tyres? “Pretty much to plan.” Sounds like a decent start to the season.

### Mercedes and Williams had the same problem
But then, the good vibes hit a snag. Despite Bahrain’s warm weather, the engines needed extra cooling. Wolff was puzzled. “We can’t understand yet where that came from.” Turns out, Williams faced the same issue, while their other customer teams didn’t. “Unexpected,” Wolff noted. And when you dial down the power unit and start coasting? “Not great fun,” he admitted.

So, catching Red Bull seemed a distant dream in Bahrain. Wolff pondered whether they could bridge the gap. “The extra performance of their machine is just great.” Yet, he saw hope. The competition, including Ferrari and McLaren, seemed within reach. “We’re probably in a similar ballpark.” The key? “We just need to look at ourselves, tackle our problems, and manage our racing better. Then, we’ll be racing those guys.”

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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