Toto Wolff makes admission which will worry Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff does not see the team as the favourite for next year’s title.

With Max Verstappen wrapping up the 2022 Drivers’ Championship with four races to spare, it has been an extraordinary performance from Red Bull this season.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff can see the Dutchman entering a period of dominance, similar to Lewis Hamilton in the 2010s, with Mercedes not yet ready to match him.

“Obviously, we have missed a lot of development time to find out about bouncing and porpoising and all these things,” bemoaned Wolff, in reference to the issues Mercedes encountered at the start of the season.

“So it’s clear that Red Bull are in a very favourable position, not only for this year, but also for the start of next year.”

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“And this is a ‘learning on the job’ exercise at the moment. Our simulations don’t always give us the right results, to what the car is going to do on the track, but that’s what makes it interesting,” he continued.

These comments are likely to frustrate seven-time world champion Hamilton, who will be desperate to get that record breaking eighth title, after missing out in such agonising fashion last year.

The 37-year old’s contract will expire at the end of next season, and although he agrees that he could see himself staying for the foreseeable future, Wolff’s comments may have planted some doubt in his mind.

The Mercedes team boss did give Hamilton some hope however, with the Austrian claiming they do know how to get back to the top eventually.

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“It has happened because we got the physics wrong. There’s nothing mystical about it, suddenly, we have great people, equipment infrastructure, financial resource,” he said.

“What we got wrong was just how the car works, but that gives us confidence to sort it out.

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“If we were to continue our understanding and development of the car, I think we can catch up quickly.

“There is no team [in any sport] that is winning every singe championship over it’s lifetime. And that has happened.”

These comments will be somewhat reassuring to Hamilton, as the German team have clearly identified what needs to be done to get back to the top, and believe they have the capability to provide him with a title-challenging car once again.