Mercedes AMG F1 boss Toto Wolff believes the performance gap with Red Bull has become “too big” and that it is vital to put an end to this situation next weekend in the Netherlands at round 15.
On Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps, Mercedes saw one of its drivers, Lewis Hamilton, retire on the first lap of the race following contact with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine at Turn 5. The other driver, George Russell, finished the Belgian Grand Prix in fourth place in a car that clearly lacked the pace of the two Red Bull rockets at the Belgian track this weekend.
In the fast lap exercise in Saturday’s qualifying, the gap was even greater with Lewis Hamilton relegated to 1.8 seconds behind Max Verstappen, while his team-mate George Russell finished more than two seconds behind the Red Bull driver. Against this backdrop, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is urging his troops to stick together.
“I don’t think we can be satisfied with this weekend – if you look at Verstappen, he was on top of us all [in Belgium]. We really need to find out how we can improve our car because the gap is just too big,” said Toto Wolff after the Belgian Grand Prix where Red Bull secured a one-two finish.
“We are giving the drivers a very difficult car to drive and it doesn’t have the pace on one lap, so we need to get out of this situation. Over the next four days we will think together, aim for the next race but also for next season.”
“It’s important that we stay united, keep our spirits up and don’t rotate too much between elation and depression – this weekend was a low point, but in Hungary three weeks ago we thought we could absolutely win a race, so we are never going to give up.”
After the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes sits third in the constructors’ world championship, 41 points behind Scuderia Ferrari, with only eight races left this season.