Toto Wolff ‘hurt’ by Red Bull and Aston Martin

Mercedes finished fifth and seventh at the 2023 season opener in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton ahead of George Russell.

Heading into the first race of the 2023 season in Bahrain, Red Bull were expected to win, but not in the manner that they did.

Max Verstappen took pole position in qualifying and pulled away from the very first lap of the race, not looking even slightly challenged at any point of the race.

Mercedes on the other hand experienced a nightmare weekend, with so much being expected of the team following their disappointing 2022 season.

The W14 was expected to be lightyears ahead of the W13 but once again the Silver Arrows find themselves unable to really lay a glove on Ferrari or Red Bull.

READ: Revealed: Lando Norris last to leave the paddock in Bahrain

Not only this but Aston Martin have even leapfrogged Mercedes, with Fernando Alonso stunningly finishing on the podium while Lance Stroll split the Mercedes with a P6 finish.

This poor result has infuriated Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who has said that he is hurt by the result in Bahrain.

“One of the worst days in racing. Not good at all,” he told Sky Sports.

“We are lacking pace front, right and centre. That is a reflection of the test.

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“The Aston Martin is fast, they deserve that. And the Red Bull is on a different planet.

“That is what hurts, because they are so far ahead. It reminds me of our best years, when we [were a second ahead] of everyone else.

“That is the benchmark. We need to put one step after another to come back. We can do that. We can, absolutely.”

READ: Watch: Max Verstappen incredibly relaxed ahead of title defence

Wolff has already admitted that Mercedes have made a mistake this season by sticking with the zero sidepod concept rather than exploring a different development path.

The Austrian told the media before the Bahrain Grand Prix that his team will be exploring a different concept in the weeks to come, as Mercedes desperately try to return to winning ways.

Reports have suggested that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will have to hold on with what they have until the race in Imola, as upgrades for the W14 are not set to be operational until then