“If we would be racing this afternoon, it wouldn’t be pretty”– Toto Wolff is unhappy with Mercedes’ performance on Friday in Austria.
Mercedes lacked control and pace during both free practice sessions on Friday, and Toto Wolff is certainly not happy with his team’s performance. In fact, he is glad his team didn’t go out to compete on this day.
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen aced both sessions, topping the charts with quite a margin, and this should keep Mercedes nervous, as they could lose the fourth Grand Prix of the season.
“Well, the session wasn’t great,” Wolff admitted to Sky Sports F1. With Lewis Hamilton having two track limits breaches at Turn 10 during the first practice, both Mercedes drivers also seemed to struggle with tyre graining.
“We really need to find out, we’re just lacking at the moment. The main loss is straight-line speed. But you know, if we would be racing this
afternoon, it wouldn’t be pretty.”
No change in plans
Despite Red Bull edging away with the title this year after the last three races win, Mercedes has refuted the claim that they would drop the 2022 plans, and focus on redeveloping the 2021 car, but Wolff has rubbished the claims.
“No, actually not. Because we believe that this is a sporting war that goes long,” Wolff said, saying that the team is still planning some minor updates here and there through the year.
“It’s not a single race or single season. Next year’s regulations are going to go for many years. And the development slope is very steep. So you need to weigh up the two.”
Overall, Wolff is delighted to have a fierce rivalry against Red Bull, as it is adding freshness to the competition in the hybrid era. All this while, the Brackley-based team was crushing their competitors.
“It feels good because it’s a new situation that we didn’t have the last seven years so the fight is good,” he said. “This is why we’re in the sport. Now we’re clearly on the back foot but sometimes you have to take it on the chin and just try to recover.”