After the victory of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, Wolff spoke up, believing that the main reason for the defeat was a slower car. “The win was not there for us,” said Wolff after the race. “Clearly we were not the fastest car, and then you cannot optimize the strategy.
Did we get it right or wrong? Not clear. But definitely, if you have such a margin that Max had, then it was ours to settle for second and third and protect this position”. When asked about Bottas ’comments, he replied: "I just spoke to Valtteri.
I don't think we were sleeping but I accept his perspective. I think we just had a slower car today, and you have to just admit that. His point was, should we have done the opposite to Max [after both drivers pitted together on Lap 32?" "But as a matter of fact, this wouldn't have changed anything because Max would have come out with a fresh tire, and we would have continued with a tire that wasn't in the best state anymore, and he just pitted in front of us."
“So I’m not sure what we could have done better. Obviously he's not in a happy place that he was P2 and Lewis was P3 [before Hamilton got ahead], but it was the learning that happened on track when we got Valtteri's tire in.
We saw actually there was a lot of rubber left and we extended Lewis' stint – albeit that there were big vibrations, but a lot of rubber. "And therefore he was getting quicker and quicker the more the rubber went down, and that's why we could extend the stint and eventually Lewis overtook Valtteri.
It's clear that he's not happy and I totally respect that. None of us is happy today with the result”.
Wolff hopes for better days
Still, Wolff hopes Red Bull will win the next races, but also admits that Mercedes is currently faster “I think we had indications in the past that our relative gap was not as large to our competitors when it was hot,” he said.
“It comes down to the fact that we have a car with high downforce, and obviously when conditions change, and parameters change like temperatures going up, compounds getting softer, pressures going up, we have to acknowledge that the Red Bull is a pretty fast car – and that's what we have seen today."
“But we had these days in the past and came out stronger and I'm really looking forward to Barcelona. We have a handful of days to assess, come up with solutions, test them on the Friday in Barcelona, and hopefully have a better race on Sunday. These days where we lose are the days where we learn the most”.