Mercedes ahead of Ferrari? « Second is the first of the losers »
Against all expectations, it is 30 points behind Ferrari that Mercedes enters the summer break of the 2022 season. The F1-75 is however much more competitive than the W13 with its eight pole positions, and the gap peaked at 65 units after the Monaco Grand Prix, but the Scuderia keeps tripping over the carpet between reliability problems, driving faults and strategic blunders, while the brand with the star relentlessly goes on podiums with its yet reluctant Flèche d ‘Silver.
At this stage, it is therefore perfectly plausible that Mercedes will take second place in the constructors’ championship, but team principal Toto Wolff is far from enthusiastic about the idea. « The second is the first of the losers »answers the Austrian. “For me personally, finishing second or third in the Constructors’ World Championship doesn’t really matter compared to really racing at the front and developing the car so that you can win races on a regular basis. the Ferraris, beat the Red Bulls and prepare for next year rather than really worrying about the championship standings. » Especially since finishing third would allow more time to be spent in the wind tunnel from January to June 2023, by virtue of the aero handicap.
Either way, Mercedes now have 12 podiums to their name this season, as many as Ferrari, but that’s far from satisfying Wolff. « I would prefer to have more victories and less podiums »he insists. « We are emotional, but we are looking for victories rather than second and third places. But if these are regular like [en Hongrie]so that’s a good step forward. »
In any case, Wolff draws some satisfaction from the turnaround at the Hungaroring, where Mercedes took pole position with George Russell and then a double podium after having experienced particularly complicated free practice on Friday.
« I think it was a tough weekend overall because we suffered a lot on Friday when we didn’t really know which way to turn. Maybe getting that wrong on Friday meant having pretty much everything. good Sunday. I think we have a lot of data to study, a lot of optimism from the previous weekend in France and this one, and we can build on that for the second half of the season. »he concludes.
Interview by Jonathan Noble