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Formula 1

Mercedes Disappointment: Toto Wolff Gives Up

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Toto Wolff is dismayed after the flop at the Japanese Grand Prix. George Russell finished seventh, Lewis Hamilton ninth, and the Silver Arrows are only fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Following the dominant performance of triple World Champion Max Verstappen in Japan, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already resigned to the Dutchman winning the next Formula 1 title after just the fourth of 24 season races.

“No one will catch Max this year. His car is spectacularly good and he drives spectacularly well,” he said on Sunday in Suzuka. For the other teams, this season is only about “who becomes the best of the rest.”

The Silver Arrows, as the former industry leader, certainly have ground to make up. In the Constructors’ Championship they are behind Red Bull (141 points), Ferrari (120), and McLaren (69).

“Red Bull is far ahead, then come the other teams. We want to fight for second place; that’s our reality at the momen,” Wolff said in the paddock.

However, after another disappointment in Japan for George Russell (7th) and Lewis Hamilton (9th), Mercedes (34 points) finds itself in a battle for fourth place against Aston Martin (33 points).

Wolff can’t sugarcoat it anymore

“Looking at the numbers, it’s not good. There’s no need to sugarcoat it,” Wolff said.

With regard to the high expectations of race wins and World Championships, the team is currently “a bit in no man’s land.” Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner emphasized, regarding Wolff’s statements, that it’s too early to throw in the towel.

For Wolff, looking forward to the next few months, there is still reason for hope. “We have made a step forward regarding the car’s settings. We can say that our car is getting faster,” Wolff added. Only a weak first stint cost the Mercedes duo a better result in Japan.

Record World Champion Hamilton, who is moving to Ferrari in 2025, was also not pleased. It was a tough day, said the 39-year-old Brit. “I gave it my all, but the result wasn’t good. But that’s where our car is at the moment. If we want to climb up, we need to gain performance in the car.”

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