Although Toto Wolff admits losing the Australian GP win still hurts, the Mercedes boss has pragmatically stated that it those moments that are the “learning experiences” in life.
Lewis Hamilton was on course for the victory in Melbourne but lost it when a software bug fed Mercedes the incorrect lap times he needed to do to beat Sebastian Vettel, who pitted under a Virtual Safety Car.
Vettel raced to the victory while Hamilton had to settle for second place.
“We suspected that the new season would be close fought and the first race confirmed those suspicions,” says Wolff.
“We made mistakes and did not perform to our maximum – and it reminded us that this is the toughest racing series in the world, where every error is punished.
“It hurt to leave all those points on the table, especially because we know we had the pace to win in Australia.
“Back at base, we did what we always do after a tough weekend. We made sure that we understand what went wrong and put a process in place to make sure that we don’t see a similar issue in the future.
“These painful moments are the real learning experiences. Mistakes become training.”
And Wolff expects Bahrain could be another difficult weekend for Mercedes given the characteristics of the Sakhir circuit.
“We expect Bahrain to be another challenging weekend, although the challenges will be of a completely different nature,” he explained.
“The race in the desert is tricky because the conditions change drastically between sessions. FP1 and FP3 take place in the heat of the day whereas Qualifying and the race itself take place after sunset so it’s much cooler. That makes it extremely difficult to find the right set-up with the car.
“Bahrain is also a power-sensitive race with the long straights. We saw in Melbourne that the Ferraris in particular were very quick, so I expect it to be a close battle.
“We’ve seen some great racing in Bahrain in recent years, particularly between our drivers back in 2014, so I think we can look forward to an exciting and competitive weekend.”