Mercedes’ Team Principal, Toto Wolff is not “satisfied” with his team’s performance at 2022 Belgian Grand Prix.
Mercedes endured a difficult race on F1’s return from the summer break as Lewis Hamilton crashed out on the opening lap, after being launched airborne by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso at Les Combes, whilst George Russell could only finish fourth at the checkered flag.
Wolff consequently wasn’t impressed with his team after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen carved his way through the field to win from 14th on the grid following a power unit change, plus by 17.841 seconds from his teammate – Sergio Perez.
Reflecting on the entire weekend as a whole after Hamilton and Russell benefitted from various grid penalties to start fourth and fifth, Wolff commented: “I don’t think we can be satisfied with this weekend – if you see Verstappen, he has leaped above us all.
We really need to find out how we can improve our car because the gap is just too big.”
Wolff however conceded that both drivers have “a very difficult car to drive” which lacks single lap pace so has urged his engineers to sort out their performance issues ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Netherlands, next weekend with a long-term view on preparation for next season.
Hamilton meanwhile took full responsibility for his collision with Alonso who he iterated “… was in my blind spot and I thought I left more room than I did, so it was my fault and I paid the price.”
The seven-time champion proceeded to describe the retirement as “frustrating” after his strong start as his winless streak extended to 15 races dating back to the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, where he was cruelly denied a record eighth title.
Russell however brought 12 points home in fourth place after he had been forced to make a second pit stop from second place in the race, yet he has “mixed feelings” after enduring “two really scrappy laps” as he tried to snatch third from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
Explaining the importance of keeping his tyres in a “sweet” working window, Russell said: “When the tyres are in that sweet spot, the car is transformed but as soon as I lost them, I knew the podium was game-over.”