Toto Wolff says it is up to Mercedes, and its rivals, to close the gap to runaway title leaders Red Bull after the team’s dominance has continued in early 2023.
Red Bull has claimed successive 1-2 finishes to open the new season, with Max Verstappen triumphant in Bahrain and Sergio Perez victorious in Saudi Arabia, and holds a 49-point lead over Aston Martin.
Red Bull has now won 12 of the last 13 grands prix with that stretch, which began with Verstappen’s win in France last July, interrupted only by George Russell’s win in São Paulo.
It prompted Lewis Hamilton to suggest Mercedes never had an advantage as large as Red Bull’s current performance, but Wolff pondered that “I think we’ve had those years where we were as strong.
“But, it’s a meritocracy, this sport; even if it’s not great for the show that the same guys win all the time it’s because they’ve done a great job, and we haven’t.
We all hope for the good entertainment factor and it’s our duty, with all we have, to catch up and fight with these guys.”
Wolff went on to assert that “we shouldn’t talk down” Formula 1 because “I remember hearing voices like that in 2014, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20, and what makes the sport so special is that you need to work hard to win and you deserve it.
“Of course, we will try to do everything in our powers to fight back, and we will look at areas of weaknesses that they [Red Bull] may have.
“Entertainment followed sport, and that’s maybe not good for the commercial side, but it’s what makes Formula 1 so special.”
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