Mercedes have made a strong comeback after falling quite behind Red Bull and Ferrari early in the season. The Silver Arrows are yet to win a race this season, but they have progressed over the last few races to come closer to the front. Lewis Hamilton secured five podiums in the past five outings with a double podium alongside Russell in France and Hungary. Mercedes broke some new ground in Hungary when the team turned out to be the fastest during qualifying, outsmarting the Red Bulls and Ferraris. Russell emerged as the fastest in Q3 to take his first career pole position in Hungary.
Despite Sergio Perez’s exit in Q2 and Max Verstappen struggling with engine issues, Mercedes still achieved something great in Hungary. The pole in Hungary was a testament that the Silver Arrows are getting quite close to the front in terms of their car’s performance. But, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff shared a strange radio message after Russell’s pole and described the feat as ‘not s***.” Wolff finally opened up about his strange radio reaction and said the ‘not s***’ was quite high on his scale and was not negative.
The former Austrian driver shared that the experience in Budapest in Hungary was interesting as they knew the cars were quick. The W13 was already competitive on the used soft tyres. Then the team put new tyres as Russell aced the first sector. Toto recalled telling his engineers that they were playing for pole while looking at the delta time running. In sector two, it was going pretty tight, and some unexpected happened. Wolff added, “It’s these moments you cherish in F1. They come so unexpectedly. But the performance is really there, and you do it.”
Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff Urges His Team To Remain Cautious
Mercedes had the strongest performance of the season with a double podium in Hungary. However, Toto Wolff claimed his team needs to be more careful as it is not specific to Budapest that they just landed in a perfect window. The Austrian revealed that Ferrari struggled with their tyre temperatures in Budapest. Hence, Mercedes still lacks the performance compared to the front-runners. Toto added that Leclerc on the wrong tyres was still dominant.
He was glad that the Silver Arrows were not too far behind. However, the Mercedes boss suggested that his team was still far behind from competing for a race win. It landed well for the team in Budapest on Sunday, and Mercedes reaped the result on Sunday. Toto Wolff concluded, “But I don’t think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to really fight them as yet. But lots of learning and it’s important to get it wrong also.”