Three-tenth gap between Wolff as an optimist or a pessimist

Michelle Foster
Mercedes pair George Russell on slick tyres leads Lewis Hamilton on wets. Monaco May 2022

Mercedes driver George Russell on slick tyres leads his team-mate Lewis Hamilton on wets. Monaco May 2022

If Toto Wolff was a pessimistic man he’d say Mercedes’ deficit to F1’s frontrunner is “eight-tenths”, but as an optimist it’s only “five-tenths”.

But whichever of the two it is, what it isn’t is “acceptable”.

Having appeared to take a massive stride forward at the Spanish Grand Prix, George Russell back on the podium while Lewis Hamilton was P5, Mercedes hit a bump at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Both drivers suffered with severe bouncing throughout the weekend, so much so that Hamilton said it felt as if his “eyeballs” were about to pop out.

Qualifying sixth and eighth, they finished fifth and eighth with Russell extending his streak of top-five finishes while Hamilton was unable to make inroads in the Monaco traffic.

The result meant Mercedes again lost ground in both championships, the Brackley squad a massive 101 points off the pace of Constructors’ Championship leaders Red Bull.

The up side for the drivers, if one can call it that, is that Wolff does still believe the W13 is the third best car on the grid.

“If the problem is that we can say ‘well that this is a track where it’s going a little bit better’ like it was in Barcelona or a track that is worse like in Monaco,” the Mercedes motorsport boss said as per the official F1 website.

“I think we are the third team. We are not second and we are not fourth.

“We have two extremely strong drivers but it’s a huge annoyance for all of us that the gap is about the same.

“If you are looking at it optimistically it’s five-tenths, if you are looking at it pessimistically it’s more like eight-tenths. And that is clearly for all of us at Mercedes, not acceptable.”


Hamilton was not happy with his W13 in Monaco, saying he hopes for better at the next race in Baku.

“I’m praying that the car doesn’t feel like it does here; this is the worst that it has felt so far just with the bumps,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to going, and [with] my teeth and my jaw moving the whole time, I’m done with the shaking.

“I am pretty sure our [car] is so stiff that the suspension is driving back into the ground.

“I’m looking forward to a more open track [in Baku], I’m just praying it’s not as bumpy as here.”


Torquing Point: A bump in the road for Mercedes' recovery - Monaco GP Conclusion

After the positives shown at the Spanish Grand Prix just one weekend earlier, Mercedes looked to take a step back with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell expressing their displeasure throughout the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.