“It is to be the first of the losers”

Published: Friday, 12 August, 2022 11:4

Mercedes started the 2022 season very badly. Problems with ‘porpoising’ and its decline in performance compared to last season have made it the third team, behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

But little by little the German team has been improving and after the last races, added to Ferrari’s mistakes, Mercedes is only 30 points behind the ‘Scuderia’ in the Constructors’ World Championship. However, Toto Wolff cares little about overtaking Ferrari and being second.

“The second is the first of the losers,” said the head of the Mercedes team forcefully. “Personally, being second or third in the Constructors’ Championship is not that relevant compared to actually competing and being at the forefront of developing the car to win races on its own merits,” continues the Austrian in statements to ‘Racer’ magazine.

Lewis Hamilton has taken five podium finishes in the last five races, while George Russell has finished third in the last two rounds, showing the improvement of the Germans. Even Russell took pole at the last race in Hungary. However, Wolff downplays whether they can compete with Ferrari and Red Bull: “I don’t want to say now all of a sudden that we’re in the game and we can win races, because I don’t think that’s the case.”

Despite the double podium for the Mercedes in the last two races, Wolff remains cautious: “We were good on Saturday in Budapest and we are getting good results in the race, but I don’t think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to fight them.”

The reality is that although Mercedes has the third best car on the grid, Ferrari’s continuous mistakes have caused the Italians to lose many points. This not only hurts Charles Leclerc, who is closest to Verstappen in the fight for the World Cup (he is 80 points behind), but also the team itself, which is seeing how little by little Mercedes is getting closer.

If the trend of recent races continues, it shouldn’t take long to see the Mercedes team ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ World Cup standings. Right now, the difference is only 30 points. Ferrari has added 31 points in the last two tests and Mercedes, 67.