Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has admitted that the Styrian Grand Prix was the first time in eight years that Mercedes were “lacking pace”. However, he has also said that a lot was learned from today’s rather disappointing session.
“Not a bad result, but what’s tough is that it’s the first race in eight years where you’re just lacking the pace,” Wolff said on the matter.
“I think we found some clues for qualifying, is there something we could have optimized with the race pace and obviously there’s always a balance.”
Wolff has elaborated, stating that there were still positives to be learned from today’s defeat at the hands of Red Bull. He has also praised the latter’s strategy today, which alongside the new power unit, contributed to what is in his opinion, a massive victory for Red Bull.
“All credit to their strategy, you feel like they are eeking away at the new power unit, consolidating their performance so we just got to get our heads up together and get the best out of the package that we have.”
Red Bull has now won four consecutive races in a row, a feat unheard of in the turbo-hybrid era for anyone who isn’t Mercedes. Despite P2 and P3 being secured by Mercedes drivers, Wolff has conceded that Red Bull has a clear advantage at the moment.
“This is far from over,” Wolff said, emphasizing that the Championship fight is far from over, despite the struggles today.
“We have stopped developing for this year because we believe that next year is so important to get it right, and they keep adding bits,” Wolff explained. Mercedes has the opportunity to pick up the pace at the Austrian Grand Prix, taking place on the same circuit next week, and finally regain their lost lead.