Toto Wolff sets out timeline for Mercedes F1 victory

Lewis Hamilton's third place at the Spanish GP means Mercedes have scored consecutive podiums for the first time in 2024

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Toto Wolff explained the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix showed Mercedes are three-tenths behind Formula 1 pacesetters Red Bull and McLaren and believes they’ll be racing for victory once they’ve bridged that gap.

When the lights go out at the Austrian GP – their next opportunity for glory – it will have been almost 600 days since the last Mercedes F1 win at Interlagos in 2022 but Lewis Hamilton‘s third place in Barcelona means the Silver Arrows have scored consecutive podiums for the first time in 2024.

George Russell even took the lead at the first corner after also hitting the front in Canada, where he looked in contention to take the win before mistakes put paid to those hopes, while Hamilton was unable to challenge Max Verstappen or Lando Norris in Spain.

“You’ve seen in qualifying and the race that the gap is probably around three-tenths to these two,” Wolff told members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com, when asked when Mercedes can overhaul Red Bull and McLaren.

“That’s what’s missing and if we’re able to bridge that – bearing in mind they also put upgrades on the car then – then we could be racing for a victory. But that’s not on the hands yet.

Montreal with the conditions yes, we could’ve won, but probably we surprised ourselves that we could and that’s why we dropped the ball there.”

Hamilton finds form chasing Mercedes F1 win

Lewis Hamilton after qualifying third at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton after qualifying third at the 2024 Spanish GP | Mercedes

The drought to the last Mercedes F1 win may be long, but Lewis Hamilton‘s wait to return to the top stop of the podium is approaching four figures since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP.

He’s been outmatched by Russell in qualifying and grand prix in 2024 which even led to accusations that Mercedes were ‘systemically sabotaging’ Hamilton, his car and his F1 weekends.

Hamilton hadn’t even scored a podium in over six months and agonisingly lost out to Russell at the death in Montreal, but Wolff said his result in Spain showed class is permanent.

“It’s good to see he has a great weekend,” Wolff added. “It’s been a while that he was on the receiving end and strategy has worked against him, and today that was in his favour so I’m happy that we have that podium for him because this has been a while.

“These conspiracy theorists… I have zero respect for because they have no brain. We want the car that wins races and championships and who doesn’t get that should be watching another sport.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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