Toto Wolff admits Mercedes unhappy with Lewis Hamilton deg

Toto Wolff’s confidence has been bolstered after Ferrari’s pace advantage appears to have “shrunk” during the race weekend in Azerbaijan.

Ferrari kicked off the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend with a strong showing in the Grand Prix qualifying and the Sprint Shootout, as Charles Leclerc took pole in both races.

The result marked a comeback for Ferrari, which has struggled to keep pace with Mercedes and Aston Martin, falling behind both in the Constructors’ battle.

Unfortunately for Leclerc, the qualifying performance appeared to be reflective of a strong one-lap pace from Ferrari, rather than a wider boost in their performance capabilities.

In the Sprint race, Leclerc could only manage P2, as Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took the chequered flag, while the Grand Prix saw the Monegasque drop to third behind both Perez and Max Verstappen.

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“Ferrari’s advantage has shrunk a bit,” Wolff said after watching Leclerc race around the Baku street circuit.

Despite Ferrari losing their qualifying advantage, Wolff is open that Mercedes haven’t quite perfected their set up yet.

“We’re just not happy with what we have,” he said.

“Sometimes there are performance flashes, like for example George in the second half of the race.

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“He was really strong in the last third of the race. He obviously benefited from a free run, but next to Perez he was the fastest car on the track.  

“The Ferrari lost a lot of pace in the last laps.

“On the other hand, we see that as soon as we get stuck in traffic, like with Lewis, the tyres struggle. So overall we can’t be satisfied.  

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“But we’re working flat out to overcome these deficits and then, I’m optimistic, we’ll be able to drive up front again.”

Ferrari’s P2 and P3 finishes in Azerbaijan has helped to close the gap between the Italian team and Mercedes in the Constructors’ Standings but it’s not enough to overturn the lead held by the Silver Arrows.

Red Bull are the dominant leaders in the Constructors’ race with 180 points, almost 100 clear of their closest rivals Aston Martin, who sit on 87.