Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes his team should be proud of its 2013 season rather than disappointed that Red Bull has killed off its F1 title hopes.
A strong middle phase to the campaign left many suggesting that Lewis Hamilton would be Sebastian Vettel’s main challenger for the world championship in the second half of the season. However, Red Bull stepped up its game after the summer break, with Vettel winning the three races since then as Mercedes has been struggling to keep up.
Although that form has left Mercedes accepting that its title chances are now over, Wolff thinks that with 2013 always having been marked out as an interim campaign, there is little to be disappointed about.
“Absolutely not,” explained Wolff. “Sometimes we were disappointed to finish third and fourth, like at Spa. But then you return to your hotel and say, ‘Am I completely normal?’ The step this season has been a major step. It is something we can be proud of.
“Clearly we are all here to win the world championship one day, and it is good we have raised the bar. But equally it can be dangerous to raise the bar as the level of satisfaction is much harder to achieve.”
Most teams admitted surprise at the level of dominance displayed by Vettel in Singapore, but Wolff said that Red Bull’s advantage was nothing to be depressed about.
“For us it is something that we are aiming to achieve as well in the next years,” he said. “It was such a dominant performance, with one car. The question is why? That is something we are looking for.
“On the other side there is no reason to feel depressed because the step our team has made since 2012, being the second force which is what you see now, is something we should be honored with.”