Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are both “outperforming” their cars this season, but the team needs to “work out how to win”.
Mercedes recorded their best result of a challenging Formula One season at the French Grand Prix last weekend as Hamilton came in second and Russell third.
It was the first double podium of the season for Mercedes, who have otherwise struggled to match pace-setters Red Bill and Ferrari.
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Reflecting on the latest result, Wolff said: “It’s encouraging we could score this result on Sunday but it’s still very difficult for us to pin down where [we would end up] if everyone finishes.
“You know, we had the pace to go with [Sergio] Perez, but [Charles] Leclerc shunted out… and [Carlos] Sainz started from the back.
“I think it’s simply we’re just lacking performance on the single lap and we’re lacking performance on the initial stages of the stint so there’s something to understand, and it’s not a silver bullet but it’s a few topics in performance. Second and third is a good result but we need to work out how to win and there’s still a gap.”
Wolff was full of praise for his drivers, suggesting Hamilton and Russell are getting more than expected from the W13 car.
“I think you are seeing a seven-time world champion [Hamilton] in a car that is not good enough for a World Championship at the moment.
“He’s just pushing very hard and maximising what’s in the car and a faultless delivery. Clearly both of them are outperforming the car at the moment.
“When you’re fighting for a title, it’s 100 per cent concentration to fight the other guy. This is different: we’re fighting the car at the moment, we’re trying to motivate and energise the team and the factory. [Lewis is] positive, even on days that are not so good like [Saturday].
“The attitude is great and that’s something that has really grown with him over the years and it’s clearly one of the most important factors, that we have a seven-time world champion and a green up-and-coming driver and it’s a positive working [environment] together, challenging each other in the briefings, trying to work out what makes the car go quicker, being able to run different set-ups to try stuff, it’s really nice to see."
Up next is the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 31 before a month-long break.
Asked what to expect from Mercedes at the next race, Wolff said: “I have no idea.
“We came here with expectations to fight at the front, we didn’t, so I don’t know what to expect in Budapest.”
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