Toto Wolff says the potential to beat Ferrari to second place in the constructors’ championship has no significance to Mercedes because it needs to get back winning titles.
Ferrari has often had a car capable of winning races but a number of errors – ranging from strategic ones to poor reliability and driver mistakes – has allowed Mercedes to close to within 30 points in the fight for second in the standings. However, Wolff says he isn’t setting a target of beating Ferrari as he’s only interested in improving the car enough to continue for the championship.
“Second, first loser,” Wolff said. “For me personally whether, second or third in the constructors’ world championship is not so relevant compared to really racing and being at the front developing the car so we can win races on merit.”
Mercedes took its first pole position of the season at the final race before the summer break in Budapest, but Wolff says that doesn’t mean the team is now on the same level as its rivals.
“I don’t want to say now suddenly we are right bang into the game and we can win races because I don’t think that’s the case,” he said. “We landed it well in Budapest on Saturday, and we are reaping the results (in the race). But I don’t think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to really fight them yet.”
However, Wolff believes the issues that Mercedes faced at different times during the final two races before a mandatory factory shutdown will provide key lessons that the team can utilize in Spa at the end of August.
“It was a difficult weekend overall (in Hungary), because the suffering of Friday was just big when we didn’t really know which direction to look at,” he said. “Maybe getting it so wrong on Friday was helpful in getting it very right, almost completely right on Sunday. And we have a lot of data to look at, a lot of positiveness from the last weekend in France and here and to build on for the second half of the season.”