Start, Interlagos, 2013

Mercedes hasn’t had it this tough in F1 since 2013, says Wolff

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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Mercedes’ slump in form since the summer break is similar to their performance level before the V6 hybrid turbo era, says team principal Toto Wolff.

The team have been out-qualified by Ferrari in the last four rounds and beaten to victory in the last three races. Wolff said overturning their deficit to their rivals “is possible and it is absolutely a must.”

“We can see that in the last few races we we aren’t the quickest package anymore,” said Wolff. “We have very good chassis performance but overall power, drag and power is something where we are lacking to Ferrari.

“This is something which we need to get under control. And work hard. And it’s a fun challenge, actually.

“In the beginning is always difficult to re-calibrate yourself because if you set the expectations are we going to win that one and then you come to the race and suddenly you’re not waiting that one, and the next one you’re not winning that one, it’s quite hard to manage your own expectations.

“But I think we are getting there and it’s a fun situation. I remember this is like it was in 2013, with the difference that we’re still leading the championship.”

Wolff said the team is going through one of its toughest spells since its string of championship successes began in 2014. “It is among the most difficult areas,” he said.

“I think we had situations where Ferrari was very strong in the last year but at the moment they just crush everybody with their straight line speed so it’s very difficult to compensate that around the track and this is a situation that we need to overcome.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Mercedes hasn’t had it this tough in F1 since 2013, says Wolff”

  1. They should/could have won in Singapore though.

    Ferrari is finally able to unleash the potential they showed in winter testing. It was alays going to happen. Mercedes was lucky that it took so long really

  2. Of course it’s fun, not like their titles are in any shape or form threatened. That way they get to talk about how tough this season was for them and how heroic they are for still pulling off both titles. God, Wolff, Hamilton … that entire team makes me sick.

    1. Poor you! Last 6 years must’ve been really tough on you, with being sick every race weekend.

    2. Can’t agree more. He goes on to say things like it is fun and we never really concentrated on updates. I feel next year is going to be even more dominant mercedes in the first half of season

    3. @klon same mercedes drivel as always, such a sad retoric.

  3. Surely if Mercedes doesn’t win tomorrow it means their longest winless streak in hybrid era. But with the championship pretty much in the bag, previous two seasons have had tougher spells especially early last year.

  4. Yeah, it doesn’t matter too much when they have the advantage they do. They can afford to drag their feet and tinker for next year and still win the championship, barring any dramatics.

    Although… wouldn’t it be enormously special and surprising if it did, and Mercedes lost this championship right at the end?

    1. @rocketpanda i only see it happen if redbull get their act together and take 2-4 place consitently with ferrari in 1-3. It would put merc in 5-6 and take a lot of point away, didnt calculate if it is even a theoretical possibility would be fun to watch. Unrealistic, yes.

  5. Merc have actually had the race pace in the last 3 races (especially with the Ferrari’s being tougher on tyres), they just haven’t been able to overtake them. It is quite an intriguing battle. You feel if a Merc ever gets ahead, they’d streak away – so strategy is absolutely crucial. If only Ferrari were this level the whole season.

  6. Are they struggling, really? They could’ve won Spa, Monza and Singapore. They just didn’t do it, but they were chasing the Ferraris hard at each of those tracks, and should’ve won last week straight away, really…

    1. Toto crap as usual. They still have the fastest cars on race days. Only a clown like himself believes his silly moans.

    2. Singapore, yes, if it wasn’t for the brain-dead strategic calls. Even with the DRS and the slipstream, Mercs couldn’t catch Ferraris on a straight line. Not sure what you’re talking about.

      1. Mercedes drivers could not pass Leclerc on track in the previous 3 races that does not mean they dont have the fastest race cars. Don’t compare apples vs bananas.

      2. Pretty sure things would have been the same if the other way around. Although some inflate Ferrari’s performaces… when they happen… in the last 3 years I think there were more times a Mercedes and a RBR overtook a Ferrari than the other way around.

      3. @rockgod it doesn’t mean they didn’t have the pace to win. They are in contention, Toto is making it sound like they lost all their performance and are struggling. Yet they finished nose to tail to the Ferraris.

  7. Sigh. You quality secon and 4th, lead Both championships by a huge Martin and we’re quicker in the race last time round. In 2013 Mercedes struggled massively with the three and we’re in content ion die te podium ONLY in some round.
    Not Věry comparable ať all

    1. I can understand a feeling of having to actually fight and get everything mostly right to get pole and the race win (and/or get two of the three podium places) that’s now more urgent than Mercedes has had since 2013, or te start of the 2014 season, but I have to agree @bascb, their lead in both championships is big enough that five races of only having one car on the podium is not going to lose them either championship.

      Feeling challenged is good for the team, but to have a real effect on the championships, they needed to feel secure, and off the ball, for a good while longer, and only go backwards quite a bit for some time.

  8. Well, if only the PU hadn’t become a problem since iteration 2.

  9. Put Leclerc or Verstappen in the Merc then. Job done.

  10. This is even a more fun situation for all cause there’s not much risk involved. They’ve already wrapped up both titles.

  11. So tough. Hope someone gives them a golden tissue to cry into when they win both championships 7th year in a row.

  12. I don’t mind. Highly unlikely, but Ferrari winning the rest of the races and closing significantly the gap to HAM, also seeing BOT fall to 3rd or 4th in the WDC where he seems to belong… could make this champ something to remember.

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