Mercedes: Bahrain defeat was very painful

Date published: April 26 2017 - Editor

Toto Wolff has issued a rally cry to Mercedes after a second defeat to Ferrari in three races, insisting Mercedes should focus on solutions rather than dwell on the losses.

Despite starting the Bahrain Grand Prix 1-2 on the grid, Mercedes lost the grand prix to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

The German took his second win in three races ahead of Lewis Hamilton while pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas fell to third.

Although billing it as a “very painful” result for Mercedes, Wolff has urged the Brackley squad to focus on what needs to be done to get back on top.

“You need to be able to draw a line under a tough weekend,” said motorsport boss Wolff. “It’s very painful to lose a race like that.

“There were too many marginal losses that we encountered and these cost us the victory. But they are down to us to fix. You need to be careful not to spend too much time thinking about these setbacks, but rather work on solutions for the future. That’s important.

“Of course, you need to keep both feet on the ground. Second and third place is definitely not a disaster. But if you have a car and two drivers capable of winning races and it hasn’t materialised, then it feels painful – and this is how it should feel.

“We know what weaknesses we need to tackle and where we need to be even more diligent for the coming races in order to win.

“You have to confront each issue, analyse it properly and come up with a plan for how to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future. This is an exercise which we have done a number of times over the last few years.”

The Bahrain race results means Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship by seven points over Hamilton while Ferrari hold a three-point advantage over Mercedes in the race for the Constructors’ title.

It is proving to be a good season for Formula 1 as fans are enjoying the battle between two of the sport’s heavy weights, something even Wolff acknowledges.

“It’s very good to see people talking positively about Formula One,” he said. “Clearly, the close fight between Ferrari and Mercedes is something that is interesting for the fans.

“It’s interesting for us too. This is why we go racing – because we’re racers and we thrive on the competition and the battle.”

Looking ahead to the next race, the Russian Grand Prix, the Austrian concedes that Mercedes’ hat-trick at the Sochi Autodrom will count for very little come this weekend.

“It’s a totally different kind of track this weekend in Sochi and, in this season with these new regulations, you can’t take anything for granted.

“The trophies of previous years don’t guarantee that we’ll be winning in Russia when you have a very fierce competitor like we do in Ferrari. We’ll take it one step at a time, start the weekend well and hopefully have a good result on Sunday.”