Despite Red Bull running riot over their rivals this season, Toto Wolff has urged the FIA not get involved as he believes the “best should win”.
Today that best, he accepts, is Red Bull and it’s up to Mercedes and the rest of the field to chase them down.
Speaking after the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes driver George Russell told the world he believed Red Bull could win every one of this year’s races, a sentiment Wolff echoed.
Seven races into the season and their words are coming true with Red Bull on a seven-race winning streak. But perhaps more of a concern is that aside from Australia, no non-Red Bull car has finished within 20s of the race-winning RB19.
In Spain on Sunday that non-Red Bull car was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, the Briton crossing the line 24s down on race winner and championship leader Max Verstappen, with Russell in third and a further eight seconds back.
But while Russell has stated on a few occasions he believes Red Bull are still holding back in order to avoid catching the FIA’s attention, Wolff says it’s not for motorsport’s governing body to intervene.
“F1 has always been designed so that the best should win,” he told OE24.com. “The rules are the same for everyone.
“When a team does a better job, you have to acknowledge it without envy. Red Bull made the best of the situation and did the best job. We’re trying.”
Pressed as to whether Red Bull could whitewash their rivals this season, he replied: “I hope not because that would not be good for F1. But they have a car with which this is possible.
“We have the best drivers to counter that, but we have to get our car right to prevent that.”
Mercedes, at least based on the result of the Spanish Grand Prix, are beginning to get it right with the team recording their first double podium of this season.
Hamilton went from fourth on the grid to second at the chequered flag, overtaking the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in the process, while Russell recovered from 12th on the grid to finish third.
“The double podium is a testament to the hard work we have done in recent months and the courage in terms of the development direction we have decided to take,” Wolff said as per Motorsport Italy.
“A different front suspension, a different bottom, also a different bodywork and many other completely new elements, and the operations have borne fruit.
“Now we have a really solid base, which we understand better than before, from which we can start to make the development.”
Proclaiming the revised W14 to be a “huge step forward”, Wolff reckons Mercedes’ gap to Red Bull was actually only about “two to three tenths” in Spain.
“The gap from Red Bull I think was two to three tenths,” he said. “This is my judgement. And this is how we judged the Barcelona weekend. It is a huge step forward.
“But we must remain calm, because even the year last year we did decently well in Barcelona. We know there will be more difficult moments, but I’m happy with the work the team did in Brixworth and Brackley.”