“I would very much hope that we can continue this positive trajectory” — Wolff optimistic that Mercedes can maintain momentum after strong F1 Canadian GP

Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
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Mercedes delivered its strongest performance of the year at the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Ferrari and McLaren have recently established themselves as Red Bull’s closest competitors, with their drivers trading wins in the latest rounds of the championship.

However, Mercedes emerged as a surprise contender in Montreal. In qualifying George Russell posted the quickest time (identical to Max Verstappen’s) to secure only the second pole position of his career. 

Since Miami, Mercedes have introduced several upgrades—new bodywork, a new floor, and now a new front wing. In Canada, these enhancements culminated in their best performance of the year so far, hinting at a potential turning point for Mercedes after a challenging start to the season. Toto Wolff remains optimistic that the team can maintain this momentum, especially with further upgrades planned for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix. 

“I think definitely since Imola we’ve taken the right steps and put parts in the car that we are working,” Wolff said after the race. “That is something that we were struggling with in the past couple of years. Now, directionally, we seem to be adding performance every weekend.

“We have new stuff coming also, new parts coming in Barcelona that should help us. So I would very much hope that we can continue this positive trajectory.”

Despite the improvement, both Mercedes drivers were left disappointed with the final result. Russell led in the early stages, but ultimately lost out to both Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris after a couple of driver errors on his part.

Nevertheless, Russell still went on to deliver the team’s first podium of the season but was self-critical when reflecting on his Sunday afternoon, calling his race “ugly,” while teammate Lewis Hamilton lamented a “shocking” display on his side after finishing fourth.

Wolff empathised with his drivers’ frustration, pointing out that their hunger for better results is a positive sign. 

“I think when you finish third and fourth, where we have been coming from, then it’s a positive race,” he said.

“Three and four is much better than what we had in the last few races. So that’s good, but I think both drivers saw that more was up.

“We could have maybe gained a position or two and that’s why there is a negative sentiment that prevails. But you would have given them third and fourth before the weekend, probably they would have taken it.”

At one point during Russell’s battle with Norris, Wolff was heard on team radio urging him to “focus, George, focus.” Speaking after the race, the team boss admitted that this was nothing out of the ordinary, adding that he checks in with his drivers regularly to offer support and advice.

“Sometimes I talk to them,” Wolff said. “I call them once in a while. I have said calm down a few races ago. Giving a little advice, maybe that can be helpful. Hopefully helpful. I think it’s good. I know him so well. I think I know what goes through his mind.”

In the final laps Russell engaged his teammate in the battle for the third spot on the podium. Asked whether the intra-team battle had been too close for his liking, Wolff harkened back to the days of the intense Nico Rosberg-Lewis Hamilton rivalry, saying: “No, I’ve had much worse.”

Asked if he felt Mercedes had a winning car in Montreal, Wolff does not believe so.

“Maybe for a few minutes we dreamt about it, but in reality, probably not.”