Toto Wolff: “We are punching above our weight class”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After scoring P3 and P4 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says it’s “a fantastic result” considering the circumstances.

After a surprise DNF from Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell managed to snatch P3 and P4, respectively.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is happy with the result.

“You can see how we manage the expectations,” the Austrian told Sky Sports F1.

“If we would have come third and fourth in last year’s [Bahrain GP], it would have been very, very frustrating.

“But, this year, I think we are punching above our weight class. With Red Bull’s DNFs, I think third and fourth is a fantastic result.”

Wolff then explained that the 35 second gap between Lewis and race leader Charles Leclerc, which opened up at one point in the race, was due to tyre degradation and not a car design issue.

“I think, with a Soft tyre, on pure pace before the tyre degrades, we are almost there. Not where Leclerc is but with the others, but then degradation is too big.”

The Austrian also admitted Mercedes switch to the hard tyre on Lewis’ first pit stop was a mistake.

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“Obviously, we tried to do something different by putting the Hard on but that was putting our hand in the toilet.

“It was really a second slower, every single lap – lesson learned. So maybe that 35 seconds is a bit against us.”

Toto then gave his view of Mercedes’ current situation.

“I think we were probably over-wing. We had too much drag and that is just because we are lacking parts at the moment. Hopefully, we can remedy that.

“That’s maybe half – a little bit more than the top speed disadvantage, but we need to really leave no stone unturned also on the power unit side.

“I think at the moment we are fifth and sixth – third on the road and we’re trying to recover ground.

“But it’s not going to come from one day to the other,” Wolff concluded.

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