Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff would rather win one of the final two races this season instead of beating Ferrari to second place in the constructors’ championship.
Ferrari started the season with the fastest car but has faded as the year has gone on, failing to win a race since the Austrian Grand Prix in July. After Mercedes’ double podium in Mexico, there are just 40 points between the two teams heading to Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but Wolff is clear about what he wants from the final two rounds.
“A win,” Wolff said. “The win would be proof that our car is back to fight for wins. P2 could also be that others dropped the ball and you’re just scoring more points.
“It would definitely be some consolation. Second – because Ferrari had the quickest car at the beginning of the season. Finishing ahead of them would be great, but again it’s not our main priority. The main priority is understanding the car and having a quick automobile on the track.”
Although Mercedes has outscored Ferrari in the past two races since introducing an upgrade in Austin, Wolff is not sure that his team now has the advantage over the Scuderia.
“I wouldn’t want to say that. They are a strong team, we’ve had a few good Sundays now but maybe (Mexico) circuit flattered us. I think after Brazil we will have more of a picture, but I don’t think they’re suddenly half a minute slower than us.
“The thing is, we are racers. At the moment, we can kind of see it in front of us, we just want to grab it. Therefore, there is a sense of frustration but I absolutely agree with you, we’ve come from such a long way.
“Here we are, we’re racing for a win, we’re racing for both cars on the podium. The Ferraris are behind us, so you need to stay humble of what we achieved while still reaching for the stars.”
And Wolff’s attitude is shaped by the bigger picture, with Mercedes having yet to win a race this season and Red Bull dominating both championships in 2022.
“I’m never confident, I always see the glass half empty. There is nothing to really see it positive, I’ve just heard they (Red Bull) have had nine wins in a row. So there is no reason to be overwhelmed with finishing second and fourth.
“We have a long way to catch up, we have the winter, we are doing some good development on the car. Some of the things we are finding might be bigger steps than just adding a few points of downforce.
“We are giving it whatever we have and more in order to bring us back in a position to fight in the championship.”