Toto Wolff believes his Mercedes team can still fight for the Formula 1 title, after a battling performance from Lewis Hamilton at the Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes have endured a difficult start to 2022, having struggled to find the pace they have shown in recent years in their new car.
The reigning constructors’ champions currently find themselves in third in the standings, as their winless start leaves them 75 points behind leaders Red Bull. Despite their struggles it seemed as if the Silver Arrows found the much-needed pace they had been searching for after George Russell secured a third-place finish, whilst Hamilton came in fifth.
The seven-time world champion’s performance in Barcelona was an impressive one, after suffering a collision and a puncture in the opening lap of the race.
The nightmare start left Hamilton right at the back of the field. Like the Hamilton of old though, the Englishman battled his way up the track to finish fifth, and as one of the quickest drivers in the race – an aspect that had been missing from his 2022 campaign so far.
These promising signs have led Wolff to believe his team can still battle for the world title come the end of the season. He told Sky Sports : “Can we fight for a world championship? You bet we can. We have reasons to believe we can get there.
“If you look at the standings that is very hard to see but motor racing is a different ball game. We’ve seen today that Ferrari didn’t score a lot of points when they should have and we will absolutely push flat out to bring us back into the game.”
Like his boss, Hamilton was also full of positivity post-race and believes if Mercedes can replicate the speed they showed in Spain, then their opening win of the season will be just around the corner. Speaking to Sky Sports he said: “The race pace is much, much better…
Do you think Mercedes can still battle for the title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
“The car is much nicer in the race. This is a great sign we’re going in the right direction. Without [my start], I would have been fighting the Red Bulls. That gives me great hope that at some stage we’ll be fighting for the win.”
Discussing his gutsy performance in Barcelona, Hamilton admitted his battling fifth-place finish felt ‘better than a win’. He added: “It actually feels better than a win most often, when you’ve come from so far back. There was quite a lot of adversity in that race, starting so far back.
“There was a young girl who I spoke to yesterday who was my little inspiration. Isla, a five-year-old who is terminally ill. She said, ‘can you win the race tomorrow’, I said , ‘I don’t know if I can win the race, but I’ll give it everything’. Hopefully that was a bit like a win, and I dedicate it to her.”