Toto Wolff: “We are no longer favorites"
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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is currently miles away from Red Bull and that Max Verstappen is running away with the title after he increased his lead in the title fight to 32 points in Austria with two wins. After three wins in the first four races of the season, Hamilton did not win the last five races won by Verstappen and Perez, and Red Bull escaped Mercedes in a car development battle during the season.
After the first race in Austria, Mercedes announced several improvements to the car that should bring them better lap times, which will be necessary to keep up with Red Bull, which has a 44-point advantage. Hamilton held second place behind Verstappen in Austria, but the damage to the car in the 30th lap cost him about half a second per lap and he also lost to Bottas and Norris.
“Max is currently running away with the title and there’s not much we can do about it,” Hamilton said. "They've added so much performance to the car, and we have a lot of work to do to try to close that gap." "I hope our car will be better in the next race because the last two weeks have been pretty bad, definitely a few painful races for us." "But we will keep trying.
We will work as hard as we can to improve over the next few weeks. ” "We were very far behind on this track, it will be interesting to see how it will be in other races."
Wolff seems optimistic
Team boss Toto Wolff is trying to be optimistic ahead of the rest of the season and says it’s still pretty early.
“I’m always a skeptical person, my glass is always half empty, but I see positive things, we have 13-14 races to go,” Wolff said. "We've given up [25 points] on Red Bull, and we've lost more points than we needed to because of our own mistakes." “It is clear that in the last two races in Austria we did not have the performance needed to fight Red Bull and we have to try to be better in every aspect.
I hope we will be better on other tracks. ” “We are no longer favorites and it is clear that they have an advantage in performance and you can see that. But we will not give up at this stage of the season, we will not give up until it is mathematically possible to win the title. " "That's why we need to look optimistic, not pessimistic as before."