Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has spoken out about the difficulties facing the eight-time championship-winning outfit amid the new regulations this season.
The Silver Arrows’ Lewis Hamilton has been fighting in an unfamiliar midfield, and team principal Toto Wolff says their issues are ‘extremely painful.’
Heading into the third round of the season, the team is in second in the constructor’s standings, 40 points off the leading team – Ferrari.
The Brackley-based outfit will likely be overtaken next weekend by Red Bull, who have been outperforming Mercedes after their double retirement in Bahrain in March.
Just one point separates them as the Australian Grand Prix looms, and unless Mercedes can improve their title-threatening issues, they’ll be moving down the order on the leader board.
At this point, George Russell is in fourth in the driver’s standings with 22 points, while Hamilton is in fifth with just 16 points.
Speaking this week, Toto Wolff explained: “We have been right in the middle of those fun games [at the front] for the last eight years.
“It’s extremely painful to not be part of those fun games, and by quite a chunk of lap time deficit.
“We’re not going to rest until we’re back in the mix. 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,” he continued.
“I think we’re not running the car where we’re wanting to run it [in terms of set-up], and therefore it’s very difficult to really assess what the lap time deficit is if we were able to run the car lower.
“I would very much hope that the gap is very much closer to what we have seen [in Saudi Arabia], but there are deficits everywhere.”