Wolff warns of lengthy recovery process at Mercedes
Toto Wolff has warned Mercedes’ return to the front of the grid will not be quick and said they are “working hard” to reduce the pace advantage of Red Bull and Ferrari.
Mercedes‘ 2022 season has very much been a salvage operation so far as in all three races, they have looked well off the pace of both Ferrari and Red Bull.
Their saving grace has been their reliability and as a result of that, plus Red Bull’s unreliability, the team are second in the Constructors’ Championship while George Russell occupies the same spot in the Drivers’ Championship.
Despite this, Mercedes are still some way off where they and their fans wish to be. Team boss Toto Wolff said the Australian Grand Prix, where Russell finished in third and Lewis Hamilton in fourth, went better than they had expected.
“Melbourne was a great weekend for Formula One, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was wonderful to be back in Australia in front of so many fans,” Wolff said.
“For us, the race went better than we expected, especially after a difficult Friday.
“George and Lewis were both on strong form all weekend and delivered a useful haul of points for the team. We learned a lot and really maximised the opportunities available, and that’s what we need to keep doing.”
Next stop, Imola. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/IAdGVzbc8q
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 20, 2022
On the pace disadvantage between them and the frontrunners, Wolff said everyone across the factory has been “pulling together” to try and reduce the gap.
“We know we haven’t got the pace of the Ferrari and Red Bull right now. But we’re working hard to reduce their advantage, and it’s been brilliant to see everyone across the factories pulling together to achieve this.
“There’s been a lot of hard work over the Easter weekend in the factory to bring improvements to the car and get it ready to head to the next race, and that shows the team’s dedication to turning the situation around.
“Of course, we must be realistic, it will take time to make the gains we want, but we’re learning as much as we can from each race and finding avenues to push us forward.
“Now we look ahead to Imola and the first sprint event of the season. It’s an historic, old-school circuit with a challenging layout that the drivers really enjoy.
“Qualifying is important owing to the narrow track, while its sweeping nature really puts the cars to the test. We’re looking forward to seeing how 2022 machinery tackles Imola.”
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