Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that Lewis Hamilton will be ecstatic after his outing in Monaco showed the Silver Arrows were back on track to fight for podium places.
While the team didn’t quite manage to put the set up together around the unique track, Mercedes showed they have pace now that can help them “get there” in their mission to challenge Red Bull.
The optimism comes after Red Bull took their sixth victory of the season, continuing their 100% win record this year, as they clearly dominate the sport.
The outcome of both title races looks clear despite only six races having been completed, as Max Verstappen leads the Drivers’ Standings by 39 points, while Red Bull leads the Constructors’ battle by 129 points.
“It’s so difficult because we were in the mix with Aston Martin and with Ferrari I would say,” Wolff said.
“But we really need to be careful, we need to go to Barcelona and collect more data. It’s a new baseline. I don’t expect us to be clearing Aston Martin and Ferrari [there]. It is more about understanding what does this car do now, how to set it up and we are really good at grinding away.
“Even with the old package which wasn’t that great, or was terrible at the start of the season, we managed to win a race in Interlagos [in 2022] in a dominant way. So we’re going to get there.”
The improvement in the performance of Mercedes couldn’t have come sooner, as the Silver Arrows work to convince Lewis Hamilton to remain at the team beyond the end of his current contract.
Hamilton’s contract expires in a few months, leaving him as a free agent, with the option to join a rival team or leave the sport all together should he be convinced another world championship is out of reach.
“My team is working closely behind the scenes with Toto and we are almost at the point of having the contract ready,” Hamilton told reporters in Monaco.
“I’m having the team focused on that so I can just do my job. It’s a much better position than I used to be in before, because I used to do the negotiations on my own and it was very stressful. I don’t have to do that anymore.”