Wolff knows there has to be a way

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff
Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff was in reflective mood after Sunday’s Belgium Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was second and Brackley team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth at Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps where race winner Sebastian Vettel closed the gap on the world champion.

There are eight more races to go, many points to score and now is the time to really outperform

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff

Wolff said: “On a day like this, you have to question yourself where we can improve. When I look at the race, I see many deficits.

“We are a strong team but there are deficits that are obvious that cause us not to perform as we expect and, insofar, it is not about somebody else outperforming us, it is about us finding the clues to understand our under-performance.

“You can see the deficits. It is the slow speed [corners] and it is the traction. This is what I would summarise as the main weaknesses at the moment. Today we were clearly - compared to the Ferraris and the Red Bulls and the Force Indias - the car that was cooking the tyres the most.

“They [Ferrari] have a power advantage, on various parts of the straight you can see that, even if the exits are not worse than ours, their engine keeps pulling.

“The last one [track] where we have been quickest in pure pace was Silverstone. We have been really good in France and in Austria and since then Ferrari has been quicker.

“Budapest it was no surprise and Spa was always a bit of a tricky one for us in the past as well. I am very curious to see how it is going to go at Monza. Last year, we were very much in control and Ferrari had their worst weekend of the season performance-wise.

“We will have some tracks that suit us, or should suit us more. And then there will be tracks where we are definitely the challenger, like Singapore and Mexico. There are eight more races to go, many points to score and now is the time to really outperform.”