Mercedes made progress despite the difficult Australian Grand Prix, emphasizes Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff was happy with Mercedes’ result in Melbourne. (Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says his team made good progress at last weekend’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, despite once again falling behind leaders Ferrari and Red Bull.

The Silver Arrows have not been able to contend for race wins so far this season as their new W13 car struggles with intense jumps at high speeds on the straights and looks significantly slower in the corners than its rivals.

Ferrari and Red Bull, on the other hand, have managed the transition to the new era of Formula 1 more successfully, battling each other for victory in the first three rounds of the season. However, Red Bull’s poor reliability has meant that Mercedes inherited two podiums following Max Verstappen’s retirement.

The second of those podiums came in Melbourne on Sunday, with George Russell clinching his first top-three result for the team since finally making the switch from bottom-placed Williams over the winter break, and Wolff says the result bodes well for further progress for the team he was a team, although it was out of tempo again.

“We leave Melbourne in better shape than when we arrived – more lessons learned, more data to analyze and more items on the board,” explained Wolff “Obviously we don’t have the pace to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull yet, but we know where to look for performance.

“To see Lewis and George operate at an exceptionally high level with a tool that clearly cannot match the speed of the leaders is another example of the spirit of this team. We’re optimistic but realistic about the timeline for improvement and the advantage our rivals have, but P3 and P4 help us leave Australia feeling good.’

Mercedes have won eight consecutive constructors’ championships since 2014, but that record is unlikely to be extended this season unless they can quickly and significantly improve on the W13, and Wolff says he has full confidence in the factory staff can deliver.

“One factor that makes me very optimistic about the future is the mindset and strength of the team. Everyone in the UK, in Stuttgart and on the traveling racing team is bringing together every effort we have to address the performance gaps with determination and a deep hunger,’ continued Wolff.

The fourth round of the Formula 1 season will take place on the weekend of April 22nd at the Imola circuit in Italy.

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General Sports Mercedes made progress despite the difficult Australian Grand Prix, emphasizes Toto Wolff

Nate Jones

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