Toto Wolff believes Red Bull’s pace advantage made for a less entertaining Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Speaking after Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff claims Red Bull’s advantage over their rivals as well as a lack of overtaking up and down the field led to a boring Grand Prix for the Formula 1 audience.

Toto Wolff in the pit lane

“It needs tough battles… today there was none of that.”

After a 4th dominant performance of the year for Red Bull, Toto Wolff of the struggling Mercedes team shared his opinion on what he deemed a “less entertaining” race around the Baku city circuit. The Mercedes man also seemed uninspired by Formula 1’s reimagined sprint format.

Red Bull’s dramatic pace advantage saw them finish with a 1-2 once again, with Sergio Perez eventually crossing the line over 20 seconds ahead of the third place Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Wolff claims this, as well as an overall lack of overtaking during the Grand Prix led to a boring race.

“No overtaking and the big pace difference made it not great entertainment,” he stated while talking to print media following Sunday’s Grand Prix. “We have to analyse the weekend with the sprint format, whether there’s positives that we can take out.

“But at the end it all comes down to racing. It needs tough battles and I think the highlight yesterday you could see was Gearge [Russell] and Max [Verstappen] being able to battle it out and today there was none of that.”

“It’s nearly impossible to overtake…”

He went on to elaborate on the difficulty drivers faced in overtaking during the Grand Prix claiming it was “nearly impossible” to pass. He claims efforts need to be made for Formula 1 to avoid having what he deems to be boring races.

“Even if you’re within 0.2 of a second it’s very difficult to overtake,” he said. “It’s nearly impossible to overtake unless the other driver makes a mistake.

“We need to really look at it. We really need to look at it, how we can make it better. Well not make it better, we need to look at it, how we can avoid a boring race.”

When asked if he believes the shorter DRS zone on the main straight was a factor, Wolff seemed unconvinced stating it may have “just” made a difference and allowed the drivers to pass more effectively.

“We have two cars that are sailing off into the sunset on merit.”

Wolff went on to discuss how the regulations have affected the racing since their introduction last season. He believes they do not need to be changed and seemed to want to avoid any knee-jerk reactions to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

He also commented on how the difficulty in overtaking makes it difficult to accurately gauge the pace of each team behind the dominant Red Bulls.

“I think after a race weekend like this we mustn’t talk [the regulations] down and say that is the wrong direction – we need to change completely. It is more about understanding why was it not so entertaining, or why wasn’t it entertaining and revisit it.

“We have two cars that are sailing off into the sunset on merit. Then there is a twenty second gap and I wouldn’t know today between Aston Martin and Ferrari and us who’s quicker. You’re stuck where you’re stuck and that’s it.

“For us, finding more data sets in the next races – how this is going, and then maybe we need to adjust.”