For the second time in two races, Toto Wolff believes Mercedes should’ve beaten McLaren and secured a podium position as Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and George Russell sixth at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Since both McLarens had their latest upgrade in Silverstone, the flying papaya have outscored Mercedes by 13 points and achieved back-to-back podiums for the first time since 2012.
However, after saying he expected his team to dominate McLaren in the final phase of the 2023 British GP, Wolff was asked whether he was disappointed with Mercedes‘ showing at the Hungaroring.
“No, not at all, I think we had the second-quickest car today but the result doesn’t show it,” Wolff told the media after the 2023 Hungarian GP.
“In theory we had the second-quickest car but we didn’t monetize on it today and that’s overly disappointing, we’ve got to find out how we could’ve done that better.”
“You can see the George came back from a long way down beating the Aston Martins and the Ferraris so we just need to analyse that.”
After starting on pole, it was a nightmare start for Hamilton who dropped to fourth early on and was unable to make any headway on the McLarens led by Oscar Piastri.
Meanwhile Russell‘s horror-show had come in qualifying as he failed to make it out of Q1 thanks to traffic on his final flying lap and he had to fight his way through the field on a track notoriously difficult for overtaking.
However, Wolff said Mercedes‘ biggest raceday problem was a cautiousness immediately after pitstops.
“I think we were too careful in bringing the laps in after the stops,” Wolff said. “We lost a lot of time and it paid off towards the end of the stint because we were miles quicker than everybody else.
“But it’s always a balance and I believe the balance was a little bit too much in terms of bringing them in.”
Wolff: Gap to first makes McLaren comparison irrelevant
While the teams can jostle for the lower rungs of the podium, Max Verstappen was in a league of his own once he overtook Hamilton at the first corner.
Following a narrower margin of victory at Silverstone thanks to a late safety car, Verstappen won by 33 seconds from Lando Norris while the gap to Mercedes was nearly 40.
“We can talk each other up and say we could have been, would have been second, in a way that’s irrelevant,” “Wolff “added. “Because of the car in the front that’s 39 seconds and probably was cruising a long time and that’s the bitter reality.
“But as I said before, it’s a meritocracy as long as you’re moving within the regulations then, you’ve overall just done a better job and we just need to acknowledge that.”