Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “You have to accept that there are days when you won’t win”

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Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff was forced to accept that Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport was not the quickest team across the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with the Austrian feeling that third and fifth places for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas was about as good as they were going to get.

Mercedes were at times the third best team behind Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari and Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, praised Daniel Ricciardo for his victory while Hamilton and Bottas trailed home in third and fifth respectively, behind Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen respectively.

“In sport, you have to accept that there are days when you won’t win and, if you’d offered us third and fifth before the weekend, we’d probably have taken it as a fair result,” said Wolff.

“Congratulations to Daniel, he deserved the win and was the quickest man out there this weekend.”

Tyres played a key part to the weekend but both Hamilton and Bottas found themselves compromised, with graining on both the Hypersoft and Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre for the former, while the latter was on the Supersoft for the final stint but unable to make the most of them by being stuck behind his fellow Finn Räikkönen.

“It was a tough and frustrating afternoon for Lewis and Valtteri,” admitted Wolff.  “Lewis suffered from graining on both tyre compounds which he had to manage through most of the race; we discussed making another stop but it would only have cost us positions, not gained any, so it was the right call to stay out.

“Valtteri ended up running most of the race on the best compound, the SuperSoft, but there was no way past Kimi so he had to follow him to the flag.”

Wolff admits the weekend turned out to be one of damage limitation but thoughts are now turning to the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time, where he hopes Mercedes can return to winning ways once more.

“Overall, this was a weekend of damage limitation for us and we can be pleased to leave Monaco in the lead of both championships,” said Wolff.  “Now we will regroup and aim to return to winning form in Canada.”

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