Wolff on Hamilton’s comments: Red Bull “have done a good job and we haven’t”

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Following the second race of the 2023 Formula 1 season, during which Mercedes have been in turmoil, team boss Toto Wolff has admitted the team have not done a good job with the W14, while Red Bull dominance may turn fans off the sport, an opinion shared by seven time champion Hamilton.

Toto Wolff
Photo: formula1.com

“They’ve done a good job and we haven’t.

Speaking after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in which George Russell briefly grasped a podium finish for Mercedes, Toto Wolff shared his opinion on the effects of Red Bull domination. The Mercedes man admits Red Bull have earned their wins while Mercedes haven’t done a good job.

“I think we’ve had those years where we were as strong [as Red Bull],” Wolff said when asked if he believes Red Bull’s advantage could bore the Formula 1 audience. “But it’s a meritocracy, this sport.

“Even if it’s not great for the show, the same guys winning all the time, it’s because they’ve done a good job and we haven’t. So we all hope for a good entertainment factor and it’s our duty, with all we have, to catch up and fight these guys.”

“You have to work hard to win, and you deserve it…”

When then asked if an audience drop off is a risk during a time when Formula 1 is heavily focussed on expanding the fanbase, particularly in the US, Wolff compares the possibility to that of the times when Mercedes dominated the sport.

He went on to state that overall the entertainment factor of Formula 1 comes second to the sport itself, even though it may not be the best for the commercial side.

“We shouldn’t downtalk [the possibility],” he said. “Because I remember hearing voices like that in 2014, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20. What makes the sport so special [is] that you have to work hard to win, and you deserve it as a matter of fact. Of course we will try to do everything in our power to fight back. We will look at areas of weakness that [Red Bull] may have.

“But entertainment follows sport. That’s maybe not good from the commercial side but it’s what makes Formula 1 so special.”

Lewis Hamilton in his number 44 Mercedes at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Photo: @MercedesAMGF1 on twitter

“I think it’s the fastest car I’ve seen…”

Lewis Hamilton, who has been very vocal in his criticism of the W14, also shared his opinion on Red Bull’s pace with the Briton claiming he has “never seen a car so fast”, having been shocked by the extra speed Verstappen had when passing him on track yesterday.

“I’ve definitely never seen a car so fast.” Hamilton said. “I think when we were fast, we weren’t that fast. I think it’s the fastest car I’ve seen, especially compared to the rest.

“I don’t know how or why, but [Verstappen] came past me with some serious speed.” He said, recalling his on track experience. “I didn’t bother to block because it was just a massive speed difference.”

“It’s not my fault.”

A down-trodden sounding Hamilton went on to echo the words of Wolff, also saying he believes fans may lose interest as a result of Red Bull’s pace advantage and went so far as to say it was out of his control.

“Of course, I think everyone wants to see everyone close, but it is what it is. It’s not my fault.”