Mercedes still needs "a lot of lap time" to fight for F1 wins - Wolff

Mercedes believes it still needs to find a "lot of lap time" before it can realistically think about challenging Red Bull and Ferrari for Formula 1 wins.

Mercedes still needs "a lot of lap time" to fight for F1 wins - Wolff

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell helped Mercedes to its best result of the season so far as they finished second and third behind championship leader Max Verstappen in the French Grand Prix.

But although Hamilton came home just 10 seconds adrift of the winning Red Bull after the 53-lap race, Mercedes said it remained realistic about just how big the deficit was to the front.

With Verstappen having been managing his tyres and not under much pressure from behind, Mercedes thinks that France did not offer a proper picture of how far off it is.

Asked by Autosport if he felt the reality remained that Mercedes was around 0.4-0.5 seconds behind the top squads, team principal Toto Wolff said: "I think he [Hamilton] was able to stabilise the gap at five or six seconds in the first stint, but you need to be honest and say when they were racing each other in the second stint, probably Max was just keeping it on the track.

"So in my half empty glass perspective, there is still a lot of lap time to catch up."

Mercedes had a confusing weekend in France as, on a weekend which it had headed to hoping to fight for the win, it was left further off the front in qualifying than it had been at recent races.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Wolff reckoned the key to the issue now was the team getting to the bottom of why its French performance did not match expectations.

"I think with every lap, we collect more data and understand a little bit, so we're putting the little pieces of the puzzle together," he said. "It's a process that's sometimes difficult."

Read Also:

What he was clear about, however, is that France showed the Mercedes W13 is not good on single lap qualifying pace and it remains troublesome in terms of tyre warm-up.

"It's simply not one thing: we're lacking performance on a single lap and we are lacking performance at the initial stages of the stint," he said.

"There is something to understand and it's not a silver bullet but it's a few topics that they roll in to our performance. Second and third is a good result but we work tirelessly to win and there is still a gap."

shares
comments
Unfair to label Leclerc error prone after France crash, says Binotto
Previous article

Unfair to label Leclerc error prone after France crash, says Binotto

Next article

2022 F1 Hungarian GP – How to watch, session timings and more

2022 F1 Hungarian GP – How to watch, session timings and more
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022