Mercedes says it’s “more determined and fired-up” to bounce back from its lacklustre performance at the Monaco Grand Prix, but expects its struggles to continue this weekend in Baku.
The Brackley-based outfit suffered its worst weekend of the season after a bodged pitstop cost Valtteri Bottas a potential podium and Lewis Hamilton could only finish seventh.
The result meant Mercedes surrendered the lead in both championships to Red Bull, marking the first time since Britain 2018 someone other than the German marque has topped the Formula 1 standings.
Eager to return to form at this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said after dissecting its performance in Monaco the team has learned some “crucial lessons”.
“Weekends like Monaco are the ones that keep you coming back for more,” said Wolff. “Nothing comes easy in this sport, and that’s why we love it.
“We know that if you are not at, or close to, 100% then it will bite you.
“On Monday morning I saw the same energy as when we returned from the Bahrain test and that pleases me.
“We dissected the weekend, asked hard questions of ourselves, and learned some crucial lessons. I wish we could have been back racing last weekend.”
Mercedes heads to Baku boasting a promising record having won three of the four grand prix’s held on the city’s street circuit since it joined the F1 calendar in 2016.
But aware the layout shares similarities to Monaco, Wolff is expecting Baku to not suit the characteristics of its 2021 challenger.
“Baku is next up. While it’s a very different street circuit to Monaco, we expect it to be another tricky one for us, not particularly suiting the characteristics and traits of the W12,” Wolff said.
“Red Bull will be strong again, while both Ferrari and McLaren have made great progress recently. A key focus for us has to be exploiting the opportunities available to us on those outlier tracks which aren’t suited to our car – when the points are there, we need to grab them.
“There will be swings back and forth in this fight which is exciting for the sport and exciting for us.
“We’re expecting another challenge on the city streets and after the results of the last race, we’re more determined and fired-up than ever to bounce back in Baku.”