Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has warned Lewis Hamilton not to expect an immediate end to his losing streak despite the team’s recent upgrades. Hamilton and his teammate George Russell experienced the revamped car for the first time in Monaco.
In qualifying, Hamilton secured the sixth spot, while Russell qualified eighth. In the rain-affected race, both drivers made progress, with Hamilton gaining two places and Russell gaining three after switching to wet tires early on.
Mercedes has historically struggled at the Monte Carlo circuit, making the upcoming race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona a more accurate representation of their overall pace.
However, Wolff believes that the progress made with their upgraded car may not be enough to surpass Aston Martin and Ferrari in the pecking order immediately, or challenge Max Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull team, which has won all six races this season.
Wolff stated, “We need to be careful… I don’t expect us to clear Ferrari and Aston Martin there either. It is about understanding what does this car do now and how do we set it up? We are good at grinding away… we will get there.“
In the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton finished 39 seconds behind Verstappen, who claimed his fourth victory of the season, extending his championship lead by 39 points. Red Bull has now won 15 of the last 16 races, and Verstappen remains on track to secure his third consecutive world title.
When asked if Verstappen’s dominance is detrimental to the sport, Wolff replied that winning in Formula One is based on meritocracy. He acknowledged Red Bull’s strong performance and emphasized the need for Mercedes to do a better job, catch up, find intelligent solutions, and work towards regaining competitiveness.
Wolff added, “Whether it is good for the show or not, a strong fight between 10 drivers, or at least two, is obviously much better for all of us, but we have to accept it and work to get back there. The best driver in the best car spending the same money wins the championship, and if you break the rules, you should be heavily penalized, but only then, and you should not be penalized for simply doing a good job.”