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"They have the faster package," admits Wolff

NEWS STORY
27/06/2021

Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff admits that Red Bull currently has the "faster package" but vows not to give in.

Suddenly, the smile appears to have disappeared from Toto Wolff's face. Indeed, in recent weeks he has looked under pressure, tired, a far cry from the man we have grown used to over the last seven years of domination.

Of course, all reigns must come to an end, and sooner or later it would be Mercedes turn to stand aside, but though he is clearly aware his team is on the ropes, Wolff is determined not to give in without a fight.

"It's not a secret, there is a trend," he said at the end of a qualifying session that saw his drivers finish behind Max Verstappen once again.

"They have the faster package at the moment," he added. "We need to utilise our tools and our intelligence to understand our car, set-up work, the tyres and what it needs to deploy and then we need to be faultless.

"I believe if we can align those stars we can win the championship," he insisted.

However, the German team - like Red Bull - is in a quandary, courtesy of the massive rules overhaul in 2022, which leaves it pondering when to give up on the current season and focus entirely on next year.

"We continue to stick to our principle of putting our resources into 2022, with all the consequences that can have in 2021," said the Austrian.

"But it's a long game," he admitted, "we are not looking at a single race or a single result but trying to optimise every single year. Having said that, we just need to do the best with our package."

"I will be giving it everything, obviously" said Hamilton of today's race, "but I am just talking about pure pace. They generally have had a quarter of a second on us all weekend. We managed to eke closer in qualifying, but in race trim yesterday they were a quarter of a second ahead of us most of the time.

"They've been so fast this weekend, so we have been giving it absolutely everything," he added. "I don't think we have raw pace to overtake them, that's for sure, but we might just be able to keep up. It'll be interesting to see whether or not we can manage it."

The Briton admitted that deciding to overtake his rivals in the final phase of Q3 eventually worked against him in his quest for pole.

"In hindsight, I knew that everyone was just going so slow, and I was worried about not having the tyres up to temperature. But I went on all the dirty lines, so was just picking up all the dirt on the tyres and then got a poor exit out of the last corner. By Turn 1 I was a tenth down and already by Turn 3 I was 0.2s down. So, no hope in that respect. Then I naturally tried to overdrive to gather that time loss back and it just didn't work."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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