Wolff disappointed with Mercedes start to the season


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has admitted his team will not rest until they are back in the mix, after a poor start to the new Formula 1 season.
The second race weekend of the season in Saudi Arabia saw Lewis Hamilton not progressing out of Q1 for the first time since 2017. Hamilton finished tenth in Sunday’s race, while his team-mate George Russell secured fifth. The two Ferraris and Red Bulls occupied the top four positions.
Wolff said: “We were right in the middle of those fun games at the front for eight years. It’s extremely painful to not be part of those games by quite a chunk of lap-time deficit. It’s no fun at all.
“It’s an exercise in humility and it’s going to make us stronger in the end, even though it’s not fun right now.”
After a missile attack on an oil depot near the circuit on Friday there were talks on whether the race would continue. Not all drivers were thought initially to be committed to racing, but it was agreed the event would go ahead.
The Mercedes boss said: “There wasn’t any arm-twisting from our side, there were good discussions. When the team principals talked to the drivers what we talked was sense, and not at all any pressure, but maybe that was perceived in a different way.
“In the end, the show and the spectacle [on track] was amazing and what we delivered as a sport was great. This is what sport should do. I’ve been here for five years and I’ve seen changes, but there’s just so much more to do, a lot.”
About the early pace-setters Ferrari and Red Bull Wolff said: “We are not running the car where we are wanting to run it, therefore it’s very difficult to really assess what the lap time deficit is if were able to run the car lower
“I would very much hope that the gap is much closer to what we’ve seen, but there are deficits everywhere. ‘We’re so far off Ferrari and Red Bull.”