Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says his team’s form over the last two race weekends is “not acceptable” amidst its Formula 1 title battle with Red Bull.
At Monaco, the reigning world champions struggled for pace, picking up only a seventh-place finish courtesy of Lewis Hamilton.
In Azerbaijan it left a race weekend with zero points for the first time in Austria 2018, with Hamilton’s mistake at the restart dropping him out of the top 10, while Valtteri Bottas classified 12th after struggling all weekend.
“To be honest cruising in third was OK but it’s just not acceptable that we are not getting the car into a performance position for the start or at the pit stops,” Wolff said.
“We are losing seconds over seconds to get the car in a happy window where it functions. It just takes too long.”
Hamilton was in a position to steal the win at a late-race standing restart, but he locked up into Turn 1 and ran deep, placing him at the back of the field.
“Both of us are destroyed, to be honest,” Wolff admitted. “But it is for him, as a driver, it’s obviously so close and then it’s all gone.
“We just need to be the best of us, the best that we have, and we haven’t given the drivers a competitive package this weekend. Far from competitive.
“And that is the frustration. It is not only the incident at the end that frustrates, it’s about not meeting our expectations, all of us together, Lewis, the engineers and myself, everyone in the team.”
When asked if the last two events have been the most challenging period he can remember while in charge of Mercedes, Wolff said: “Yes, they are the toughest.
“Not having performance in Monaco, then Valtteri who would have made it solidly onto the podium, needing a pit stop of 36 hours is not really a great achievement for the standards we are setting ourselves from a car that was almost all sessions nowhere.”
Mercedes now trails Red Bull by 26 points in the Constructors’ Championship.