Mercedes Sees Promise Despite Spanish GP Deficit to Red Bull, McLaren

    In the recent Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes showcased an improved performance, with Lewis Hamilton securing his first non-sprint podium of the season by finishing third. However, the final result does not fully reflect the team’s potential, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

    While Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were separated by a mere 2.2 seconds at the checkered flag, Hamilton ended up a further 15 seconds behind. Wolff explains that this gap does not accurately represent Mercedes’ capabilities, as Hamilton deliberately backed off in the closing stages, having no need to push further.

    “If you look at where Lewis was, 15 seconds behind the leaders while taking the pace out of the end, so maybe call that 10 seconds – that’s much closer,” Wolff stated. “They weren’t holding back Max and Norris. So yeah, it’s a reason to be carefully optimistic that we are much closer, and we’ll be able to fight.”

    Analysis of Hamilton’s lap times revealed that while he was closely matched with Norris in terms of ultimate pace during the first two stints, the Mercedes driver was notably slower in the final run on softer tires. Wolff acknowledges that the team’s deficit to the leading duo is likely around three-tenths of a second, a gap he believes Mercedes can bridge with further development.

    “Definitely these two at the moment, there’s not a lot between them. They are definitely setting the benchmark,” Wolff said, referring to Red Bull and McLaren. “If we’re able to bridge that, bearing in mind they also put upgrades on the car, I think, then we could be racing for victory.”

    Despite the challenges, Mercedes’ performance in Spain marked their most competitive outing of the season so far, with the team locking out the second row of the grid and finishing third and fourth in the race. Wolff remains cautiously optimistic about the team’s ability to close the gap to the frontrunners in the coming races.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source