Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says it is ‘extremely painful’ to miss the ‘fun games’ taking place between Ferrari and Red Bull for the top positions. After eight years of dominance in the premier class of motorsport, Mercedes has entered the new era of Formula 1 far behind the leading teams, and they are doing everything possible to recover as soon as possible to try to return to the top.
In the first two races, the Silver Arrows won 38 points, so they are currently in second place in the constructors' championship. However, this is a bit of a false position as two Red Bull drivers gave up during the first race, giving Lewis Hamilton an unlikely podium.
An incredible scene for Hamilton took place at the Saudi Grand Prix: the Briton dropped out of the Q1 qualifiers and reached 10th place in the race thanks to the withdrawal of two drivers from the top ten. Another Mercedes driver, George Russell, had a completely different race and managed to finish in a solid fifth place, but he was almost 33 seconds behind the winner - which is a big gap.
On the other hand, at the top, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc again staged an extremely exciting wheel-to-wheel fight in which they overtook each other, and in the end, the Dutchman took the victory in half a second this time.
All this, the fight for the first positions he misses, and says that he also misses being a part of these ‘fun games’ at the top of the grid. “We’ve had the luxury of being in the middle of these fun games for the last eight years,” Wolff said.
“Actually luxury is the wrong word. We were in the middle of fun games at the top of the grid, and speaking as a Formula 1 participant, we benefit from a great show that is really spectacular to watch. ” “On the other hand, it’s extremely painful not to participate in these fun games because of a fair portion of the lag in lap time,” he added.
"We will not rest until we return to that fight. It is not fun at all and is an exercise in humility. It will make us stronger, although it's not fun at the moment, ”he explains. Wolff was left to look for the few positive things he could find, but Hamilton’s long stint on hard tires was pointed out as a note of improvement.
But that long stint brought certain problems because he needed to go to boxing earlier. “The encouraging side is that his pace on hard tires has been positive. We couldn't say if it was fast, but it was positive, "the Austrian assures.