Mercedes vows to be "really aggressive" in fight against Red Bull

Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff says his team will continue to be "really aggressive" in its title fight against Red Bull, acknowledging neither side is currently maximising its points.

Mercedes vows to be "really aggressive" in fight against Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the lead of the F1 drivers' championship by scoring his 100th grand prix victory in Russia on Sunday, beating Lando Norris after a late downpour and a well-timed switch to intermediate tyres.

Title rival Max Verstappen recovered from an engine penalty that left him last on the grid to finish second, ensuring Hamilton's championship lead only stands at two points.

Mercedes was able to extend its advantage in the constructors' championship after Valtteri Bottas rose to fifth in the closing stages, giving the team a 33-point buffer over Red Bull.

Hamilton called Verstappen's recovery to second place a "dream result" for the Red Bull driver, having seen a chance to pull out a bigger lead pass by.

Mercedes F1 boss Wolff accepted there were some "loose ends" to tie up from the last couple of race weekends, but said the team could not be defensive in its battle with Red Bull.

"In a way, we're not maximising our points scoring, and the same today," Wolff said after the race.

"I think quali was all decisive. Valtteri going back [after an engine penalty] we knew was difficult, and we ended up with a first and fifth, and that is very good, no doubt about that, and it's Lewis's 100th victory.

"But Max recovered in a spectacular form, and that is not good for the championship.

"So in a nutshell, we just need to continue to be really aggressive in how we approach this season, not be defensive, but just move forward, in order to score these big points.

"Because neither us nor the others are really good in maximising the points at the moment."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, celebrate on the podium with Champagne

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st position, celebrate on the podium with Champagne

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Neither Mercedes nor Red Bull has managed to record a 1-2 finish so far this year. The only team to have achieved the feat is McLaren, which scored maximum points in the Monza race.

Read Also:

Monza and Sochi had typically been two of Mercedes' best circuits, but Wolff said the tweaked regulations for 2021 meant it was not possible to trust the historic form guide.

"I stopped trying to anticipate whether it's historically a strong race for us, because everything with the new regulations, everything changes, so has changed so much," Wolff said.

"Definitely, we knew that Monza and Sochi would be coming more towards us. And the reality is we are where we are, and this is the points gap and I doubt that any of the two teams will make massive swings up or down.

"It's just about, really, to continue to do the best possible job."

shares
comments

Related video

Autosport Podcast: Russian GP review
Previous article

Autosport Podcast: Russian GP review

Next article

Sainz: Russian GP my best weekend so far with Ferrari

Sainz: Russian GP my best weekend so far with Ferrari
Load comments
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Plus

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Plus

Explaining the key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Plus

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads Plus

Why de Vries' F1 practice debut could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Plus

Why Leclerc's historics crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Plus

Why the lack of “needle” between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Plus

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Plus

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but MARK GALLAGHER believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate

Formula 1
May 15, 2022