Wolff: Mercedes not accepting F1 title is slipping away

Toto Wolff believes there is still “all to win” for Mercedes in the Formula 1 title race despite its Mexico defeat to Red Bull, denying the championship is slipping away.

Wolff: Mercedes not accepting F1 title is slipping away

Mercedes entered Sunday’s race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez hopeful of converting its front row lockout into a result to boost Lewis Hamilton’s championship hopes.

But Red Bull bounced back in the race as Max Verstappen scored a dominant win, finishing 16 seconds clear of Hamilton, who clung on to second place ahead of Sergio Perez in the sister Red Bull car.

The result saw Verstappen extend his drivers’ championship lead over Hamilton to 19 points, while Red Bull drew to within one point of Mercedes in the constructors’ standings thanks to its double podium.

By failing to finish ahead of Verstappen in any of the last three races, Hamilton has seen a slender championship lead turn into a deficit of almost one race win, handing Red Bull the momentum entering the final four races.

Mercedes F1 chief Wolff made clear that no-one in the team was accepting that the championship was slipping away, citing its dominant pace in Turkey as proof of its strength.

“I'm a pretty realistic person, but I love motor racing, because anything can happen,” Wolff said.

“None of us are ever going to leave this circuit with the mentality of this is going away from us.

“There's four races to go, there's four wins to take, four DNFs to suffer. And we will just continue fighting.

“We know we have a great team. Our car was exceptionally good in Turkey. And I think we have all to win.

“But when you look at the mathematically probability, obviously I'd rather be 19 points ahead than behind. But it is what it is.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Asked if he felt he had to win in Brazil to stop Verstappen pulling more than one victory’s worth of points clear in the standings, Hamilton said: “I naturally feel I need to be winning every race.

“We need those extra points, not to lose those points, to try and regain - that was the goal going into the last race and the race before that and before that and here this weekend.

“But you know, they’re just too quick, so [we’re] giving it absolutely everything we’ve got, but unfortunately it’s not enough at the moment to compete with them.”

Read Also:

As well as seeing Hamilton’s title hopes take a knock in recent weeks, Mercedes has seen a 36-point lead fall to just a single point in the space of two races.

Despite the increasingly positive title outlook for Verstappen, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner made clear there was no feeling within his camp that the championship was within its grasp.

“No, look, there are still 107 points available, so there's a long way [to go],” Horner said after the race in Mexico.

“Reliability is going to play a crucial role, maximising every weekend [with] strategy [and] pitstops.

“I have to say the team were flawless today, drivers did a great job. The strategy was strong and the drivers did a great job, so all around, a very strong team performance.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen felt "really on the edge" with Mexico F1 Turn 1 pass
Previous article

Verstappen felt "really on the edge" with Mexico F1 Turn 1 pass

Next article

Why Verstappen was untouchable after "crucial" Mexican GP Turn 1 pass

Why Verstappen was untouchable after "crucial" Mexican GP Turn 1 pass
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