Toto Wolff sets Lewis Hamilton and George Russell new goal for 2022

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

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Toto Wolff has set Lewis Hamilton and George Russell a new target for the second half of the season. The Mercedes boss claims the focus should now be on increasing the team’s qualifying pace to ensure they are closer to challenging for wins on Sunday.

The Silver Arrows appear closer to the pace on race days in 2022 but have found themselves struggling to match the one-lap pace of Ferrari and Red Bull. Speaking in a Mercedes debrief video, Wolff said: “The start of the season wasn’t really any good, there is no way of describing it.

“Because if you win the championship in December and four months on you’re not competing with the guys at the front, That is frustrating. Since then we have had a rollercoaster. We’ve been on the podium almost every single race.

“We were strong on the Sundays but never quite there in qualifying and the gap was simply too large. Now it’s about trying to understand what it is and in the second half of the season hopefully increase our qualifying pace and then be able to race for victories.”

Hamilton has picked up six podiums this season including five back-to-back since Canada. Team-mate Russell has also enjoyed success with five top-three finishes since making his Mercedes debut.

However, most of these have come at the expense of issues for one of the Red Bull or Ferrari drivers. Hamilton even stressed the team had “relied” on their rivals to not finish races to secure trophies this season.

But, Wolff still feels the difficult year for Mercedes could come with its benefits as the German manufacturer aims for further success in the future. He added: “What we’ve said in the past is the days we lose are the days we learn the most, and I think this is what happened.

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“Our car was really difficult. It didn’t improve. At times, it really seemed that it didn’t improve, and I think the learnings that we made, the tough learnings, will help us over many years. But also, our time span is not a single weekend or even a single year.

“We’re looking at continuing to develop the organisation over two years, five years and 10 years, and for this, maybe the learnings and the toughness we had this year can be beneficial.”

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