Toto Wolff highlights Charles Leclerc’s ‘misfortune’ as he makes Lewis Hamilton vow

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Toto Wolff has warned Mercedes are working “flat out to close the gap” to Ferrari and Red Bull as insists the team will be “back competing at the front”. He admits the Silver Arrows “benefited from the misfortune of others” in Azerbaijan to secure P3 and P4.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both suffered mechanical failures in the opening 20 laps of the race ensuring Mercedes could jump behind Red Bull. However, Wolff admits there is a “fight in the team to pull together” and ensure the team secures as many points as possible.

He believes the team spirit will ensure the team are back at the front competing for wins soon. Wolff said: “Baku was a tricky weekend for us, particularly with the bouncing issues, but we really maximised the opportunities that came our way and left Azerbaijan with a solid collection of points.

“We benefited from the misfortune of others, but reliability is an important factor in Formula One and there’s no shortage of hard work at Brackley and Brixworth behind getting both cars to the finish line. We once again found ourselves clear of the midfield in terms of pace, but a chunk behind the top two teams.

“We’re working flat out to close that gap. But with an underperforming package, I loved seeing the fight in the team to pull together and get us the best result possible with the tools at hand. That spirit will bring us back competing at the front.”

Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes trackside engineer Andrew Shovlin explained the team were “working on areas to try and improve” the car. They said these new changes would try and get the car “closer to its optimal window”.

He said it was critical the car could work over a widener range of circuits before they could add extra base performance. After Baku, Shovlin indicated the team’s current position will not leave anyone in the team satisfied.

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He said: “However, we were lucky to inherit the Ferrari positions today, the gaps to the front are just as big as Monaco, we’re currently heading up the midfield and that won’t leave anyone in Brackley or Brixworth satisfied. The bumpier tracks seem to be a particular problem for us and Montreal is not especially smooth so we’ve got one area there to work on over the next few days before we get running again.

“The team is determined to continue pushing to find solutions, to find performance and to get back to racing at the front.”

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