The opening weekend in Bahrain happened and brought a lot of drama along with it, both on and off the track. For example, on track, we saw Red Bull‘s of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez running in P2 and P4, brought down to retire early, fetching no points to either driver and the team. And off track, we saw the rival, boss of Mercedes, Toto Wolff, taking a slight jibe at the failure of Red Bull.
After the race, Toto Wolff, speaking of Mercedes grabbing good points and a podium, despite possibly being the third fastest on the grid, said, “We scored the maximum points we could and more than we were expecting to. That’s partly down to others’ misfortune, but reliability has always been a crucial factor in Formula One,” as quoted by GP Fans, targeting Red Bull whose cars couldn’t finish the entire 57 laps, due to the engine failure.
For Mercedes, the weekend ended pretty well after starting poorly. The team looked off the pace, and its drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were set to finish in P5 and P6 but managed to finish two places each up.
Toto Wolff’s view going to Saudi Arabia
After preliminary tests and free practice sessions in Bahrain, Mercedes did not appear to be the fastest on the grid and were clearly behind Ferrari and Red Bull. Toto Wolff, speaking of it said, “For us, we made a step forward in terms of performance compared to the pre-season tests but were clearly third quickest behind Ferrari and Red Bull. We know the W13 has potential, and we need to continue learning, find out how to unlock it, and maximise our opportunities for points in the meantime.”
Going into the second racing weekend, Toto said, “Now we head to Jeddah and a very different track; fast, twisty and much of the lap taken at full throttle. We were there just a few months ago for the first Formula One race in Saudi Arabia, and with a new car and new tyres that we’re still learning how to get the most from, it will be a steep learning curve. That’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.”
With a limited budget and time, Mercedes will be all on gas, to boost their car ahead of this weekend. The track is new and will be hosting only for the second time overall. So, the data is relatively quiet less, rising up the challenge for the teams with their new cars.