Toto Wolff isn’t all that surprised that Red Bull performed better than Mercedes during practice on Friday, noting that their ability in the twisty parts of Baku and their flexible rear wing gives them the optimum combination.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were both well off the pace in FP2, finishing 11th and 16th respectively. Perhaps more worrying was the deficit to Red Bull, who finished atop both sessions, which stood at over a second. Wolff stated that Monaco and Baku are both tracks that don’t suit Mercedes, however Red Bull’s flexible rear wing has helped the Milton Keynes outfit make the gap that much bigger.
“We knew that Monaco and Baku are not tracks that suit us,” Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media. “They [Red Bull] were very good in those twisty parts in Monaco so they are very good here too and Ferrari also.
“Then on the straights if you have a wing that gives you this additional speed, you have the optimum combination, against us. So you just need to to take it on the chin for here and try to give it the best performance and collect the most points.”
While Baku isn’t a track that Mercedes excels at, Wolff isn’t just willing to assume that their performance will simply return in two weeks time in France.
“You can never take that assumption because neither Red Bull or Ferrari or any other team [will just] sleep,” Wolff added.
“If we say it’s gonna be okay in France and in Austria, that can you can fall flat on your nose. It’s about learning here and trying to understand why these type of tracks don’t suit us.”