Mercedes secured their best performance of the season at Paul Ricard as they secured a double podium at the French Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished P2 and P3, respectively, for the first time in 2022. Meanwhile, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took over the lead after Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s lap 18 crash, finishing ten seconds ahead of Hamilton. Mercedes seemed fast on Sunday, but they were still far off behind the frontrunners, Red Bull and Ferrari.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was not surprised by Mercedes’ top pace and claimed nothing stood out significantly for his team. However, he reckoned that the Silver Arrows are getting closer and closer to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. The former British driver stated that Mercedes talked up about their chance of winning coming into the weekend. Several media outlets reported that Mercedes’ upgrades during the French weekend could help them clinch their first win of the season. Horner felt that Max was quite comfortable in the end. He added, “But you can see they’re chipping away at it, they’re getting closer.”
Lately, Toto Wolff commented that Mercedes would work through the summer break to get their car right. However, as per Red Bull boss, working on the car during the summer break would be illegal. In addition, Christian said that one could see Mercedes getting closer and closer. However, the Mercedes team principal did not agree with his rival team boss. Wolff suggested that Mercedes were still lacking quite some time in a single lap and needed to work harder to compete for a win this season.
Wolff Thinks Mercedes Are Still Far From A Race Win
Talking to Motorsport.com, Toto Wolff stated Hamilton was able to stabilize the gap to five or six seconds during the first stint. However, the formers Austrian driver admitted that Max was keeping it on the track more during the second stint. Sharing his half-empty glass perspective, Toto said Mercedes still had a lot of lap time to cover up. Moreover, Wolff told that his team was putting the little puzzle pieces together by collecting more data and understanding more with each lap. He reckoned that the process could be a little difficult and frustrating sometimes.
Meanwhile, Toto revealed that it was not only the single-lap performance that Mercedes lacked. He added that the lack of performance during the initial stages of the stint and their tyre warming struggles during restarts was also a concern. Wolff acknowledged that second and third place finishes were good results. However, his team has been working tirelessly for a win, and there was still some gap to cover. Toto concluded, “There is something to understand, and it’s not a silver bullet but it’s a few topics that they roll into out performances.”