Wolff: Mercedes form ‘unacceptable’ in F1 title fight

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team’s current performances in Formula 1 are ‘unacceptable’ if it wants to have any hope of beating Red Bull this season.

Wolff: Mercedes form ‘unacceptable’ in F1 title fight

After difficult weekends in Monaco and Baku, Wolff believes his squad has under-delivered and needs to get back to its A-game from the French Grand Prix if it is to stop Red Bull pulling away.

Wolff said that its Baku woes, which included Valtteri Bottas having no pace and Lewis Hamilton throwing away victory with a lock-up at the restart after he accidentally hit a wrong button on his steering wheel, left him “destroyed” and frustrated.

“I think there's lots of things that are not running smoothly as they have in the past few years,” said Wolff.

“Operationally we are not at our A-game. We haven't found really the sweet spot of the car through qualifying and race, of having a quick qualifying car and a quick race car.

“There's just so much that we need to improve, that I just want to get on it right now, after this call, in order to make sure that we are actually able to compete for this championship.

“You can't continue losing points, like we've done in Monaco and here. It is just not acceptable for all of us.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 runs wide from Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B at the restart of the race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 runs wide from Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B at the restart of the race

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Wolff said that dealing with the disappointment of Monaco, where Bottas was forced out through a pitstop error and Hamilton failed to finish in the top six, plus it difficulties in Baku, had left him facing the biggest challenge since he took over at Mercedes.

Asked if these was the hardest weeks he could remember, he said: “Yeah, they are the toughest. Because not having performance in Monaco, and Valtteri, who would have made it solid on the podium, needing a pitstop of 36 hours, is not really a great achievement, based on the standards that we're setting ourselves.

“Then the car that was almost all sessions [in Baku] nowhere. Then, to be honest, cruising in third and even trying to make it was okay.

“But it's just not acceptable that we are not getting the car into a performant position after the start, or out of the pitstops. It's just we're losing seconds over seconds.”

Read Also:

While Max Verstappen’s retirement from the lead in Baku did at least ensure the world championship positions remained stable, Wolff said that the nature of Hamilton’s exit in Baku had been especially painful to endure.

“Both of us are destroyed, to be honest,” said Wolff. “For him obviously, as a driver, you have it, it's so close, and then it's all gone.

“We just need to be the best, the best of us, and the best that we have. And we haven't given the drivers a competitive package this weekend. It’s been far from a competitive package.

“That is the frustration. It is not only the incident at the end, that frustrates. It’s overall not meeting our own expectations. All of us together: Lewis, the engineers, myself, everybody in the team.”

shares
comments

Related video

Masi: No reason not to restart Azerbaijan GP after red flag

Previous article

Masi: No reason not to restart Azerbaijan GP after red flag

Next article

Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku

Drivers to raise concerns over safety car delay in Baku
Load comments
How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021