- Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admits their poor start could continue in Melbourne Australia
- ·Mercedes will start the race in third place on the standings, behind leaders Ferrari and Red Bull.
- George Russell reckons are in for a “very similar” experience at the Australian Grand Prix, following their tough start to the 2022 season.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team principal, believes that the team’s poor start to the 2022 season could continue in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix because they lack a magic fix.’
Mercedes has had a bad start to the season after reigning dominant in Formula One since 2014 and hoping to win a ninth championship this year.
Instead, following a slew of rule and regulation changes designed to usher in a new era of Formula One cars, the Brackley-based team is trailing Ferrari and Red Bull early on, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell well off the pace after the first two races.
Hamilton and Russell finished third and fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, respectively, while Russell finished fifth in Jeddah a week later.
After a poor performance in Saudi Arabia, Hamilton finished 10th and is now fifth in the overall standings, over 30 points behind leader Charles Leclerc.
Russell sits one spot ahead of his Mercedes teammate on 22 points, behind Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, and Wolff insists they are working hard to close the gap and get closer to the front of the standings.
‘We’re in a learning race,’ he told Mercedes’ official website, ‘and the first two weekends have shown we still have a lot to learn.’
“At the moment, our track performance is not meeting our expectations, but everyone at Brackley and Brixworth is focused on understanding the problems and finding the right solutions.
“There won’t be a magic fix for the next race weekend, but we’re pushing to steadily bring gains over the upcoming races to move us closer to the front of the pack.
“Until then, we need to maximise each opportunity and make the most of our package.
“So, there are various challenges ahead of us, but that’s something we relish and is when a team really shows its true spirit.
“Lewis and George are making an essential contribution to the overall effort, providing feedback, spending time in the simulator and working together to help push us forward.
‘Now we head back to Melbourne for the first time since 2020 and will be racing in Australia for the first time in three years – that’s too long for a city and country that are so passionate about F1.
‘We’re looking forward to seeing the fans and the new track layout, which promises more overtaking opportunities and faster lap times.’
George Russell expects similar results in the Australian GP
Following their difficult start to the 2022 season, George Russell believes Mercedes will have a “quite similar” experience at the Australian Grand Prix.
“I think it will be very similar, to be honest; I don’t see any reason why we will make any strides forward,” Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked for his take on Mercedes prospects in Australia.
“We’re the third-fastest team now, [and we’re] closer to the fourth than we are to the second.
“It will be more of the same [level of performance] in the coming races.”