Oct.24 (GMM) Toto Wolff admits that Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s world title wins in 2022 are “absolutely deserved”.
As the uncertainty and anger surrounding Red Bull’s budget cap breach continues, Red Bull paid ultimate tribute to the death of late founder Dietrich Mateschitz on Sunday by sewing up the first constructors’ title win since 2013.
In every year since then, Mercedes lifted that championship cup.
“They were really up front everywhere this season and didn’t make any mistakes,” Mercedes boss Wolff said when asked in Austin about Red Bull’s successes.
“They came out of the blocks with a good car and have continued to develop – both titles are absolutely deserved,” he told Sky Deutschland.
Mercedes has struggled in the first year of the new ‘ground effect’ aerodynamic rules, but took a big package of upgrades to the United States.
“The upgrades have had an effect,” Wolff insists.
Lewis Hamilton, however, lamented in Austin that the gap to Red Bull and Mercedes still exists – even though he was only 5 seconds behind Verstappen at the chequered flag as the Dutchman equalled the all-time record of 13 wins in a season.
“The car wasn’t easy to drive,” Hamilton said afterwards. “And we just weren’t fast enough.
“Now we still have three chances so hopefully that victory will come at some point. But unless something drastic happens, it’s highly unlikely that we will have the true pace to be able to compete with them.”
George Russell has struggled in particular with the 2022 Mercedes at recent races, and on Sunday earned Carlos Sainz’s ire by hitting the Ferrari in the first corner of the US GP.
“George no longer has confidence in the car,” Wolff admits. “It’s too unpredictable for him, too moody in different conditions, too susceptible to wind. That’s why he doesn’t get everything out of it anymore.
“But we are closer overall. The update worked and with the luck of the brave we could have won.
“We’re taking hamster steps, but they are bringing us closer.”