Toto Wolff reveals what was holding Mercedes back

Toto Wolff is encouraged by what he saw from Mercedes at the 2022 United States GP in Austin, stating the team are now much closer to Red Bull

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff knows what development decision held them back in 2022 after delivering another encouraging performance at the United States GP.

The Silver Arrows haven’t been at their best this season, with both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell having failed to win a race so far. The team’s early season struggles quickly ruled them out of a title challenge, but those issues look to be a thing of the past.

Now in a fight with Ferrari for third in the Constructors’ Championship, the team delivered another solid performance in Austin, with Hamilton and Russell crossing the line second and fifth respectively.

Wolff pinpoints what went wrong

Hamilton even led in the closing stages of Sunday’s race, only for eventual race winner Max Verstappen to pass him with eight laps remaining.

Nevertheless, Wolff was pleased with the performance while adding that much of the team’s struggles this season came from their decision to run the W13 so low to the ground.

2022 United States Grand Prix 2022, Sunday | LAT Images / Mercedes F1 Team

“We understand more now what it is we got wrong with the car,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1 after the race. “We can almost trace it back to a single decision last October.

“We thought we could run the car on the deck, but you can’t. So it’s small little hamster steps, and as long as the trajectory is going up, even with little dips, I think we are at a good point.”

Mercedes much closer

With just three races remaining in the 2022 F1 season, time is running out for Mercedes to deliver a race win.

Wolff admits there’s still a gap to Red Bull, but he’s confident the team are much closer to their rivals, especially after introducing an updated wing and floor package in Austin.

“We are much closer now,” said Wolff. “The upgrade worked and we were racing for a win.

“On the second run on the hards, we were probably the quickest with Max, but once they bolted on the mediums, which we didn’t have anymore of, they obviously wheeled us in.

Adriano Boin
Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1 and Ferrari.
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