Wolff on Red Bull: “They will win every race this year” is the Austrian’s damning comment on Red Bull after Bahrain. After securing a one-two finish quite easily in the first round of the Formula 1 season in Bahrain last weekend, Red Bull should win “every race” this year according to Toto Wolff, making for a boring season.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hopes his team will be able to improve the performance of the W14 for the next race on the calendar in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, pending an upgrade, but the Austrian believes Red Bull’s lead is such that the Milton Keynes-based team should win every race in 2023.
Last Sunday in Bahrain, Mercedes had a complicated weekend with the result of Sunday’s race being fifth place for Lewis Hamilton and seventh place for his teammate George Russell, both men struggling to make the most of the performance of a W14 lacking support.
After this first race of the year, which was largely dominated by Red Bull, who secured a one-two finish in Bahrain, Toto Wolff was obviously very disappointed with his team’s results and believes, like many observers, that Red Bull already has such a lead at the start of the season that the Milton Keynes-based team should be winning every race this year.
“With my sporting aspirations, I am disappointed that we are behind. We don’t want to finish second, we want to win,” Toto Wolff told Austrian media outlet OE24.
“But there is a team a thousand kilometres ahead [Red Bull]. They are playing with the competition, they don’t even have tyre wear. After the first Grand Prix, I think they will win every race this year.”
Better pace in Jeddah for Mercedes?
Asked if he thinks Mercedes can turn things around at the next race on the calendar in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a completely different track to Bahrain, the Austrian said, “We can at least do better and see how we can get out of the unfavourable situation we found ourselves in.”
“Last year our car got better and better and still won races [the Brazilian GP and the Sprint race on the same weekend, ed. note].”
“That’s why we decided to stick with the concept [zero sidepod, ed.] But then you start the new season and you realise that nothing works.”
Wolff recently confirmed that the zero pod concept would not be retained for the remainder of the 2023 season, but the Mercedes boss insists it will be some time before an effective update is introduced to the W14.
When asked if such an update could come quickly, Wolff said: “It’s doable, but you can’t just put new sidepods on the car. It’s all about the airflow.”
After the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes sits third in the constructors’ championship, seven points behind Aston Martin and 27 points behind leader Red Bull.