Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Toto Wolff has conceded he fears the Azerbaijan Grand Prix could be another “tricky” weekend for Mercedes.

The Silver Arrows surrendered the lead in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship standings following a nightmare Monaco Grand Prix which saw Valtteri Bottas retire through a machined wheel nut and Lewis Hamilton languishing in seventh after failing to show pace all weekend.

Although Mercedes has taken victory on each of the past two visits to Baku, Wolff is concerned things will get worse before they get better for the reigning champions.

He said: “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.

“Red Bull will be strong again, while both Ferrari and McLaren have made great progress recently.”

Championships are not won or lost at one race alone and although Mercedes will hope to score maximum points at venues that suit the W12 better, Wolff is acutely aware the team cannot afford to drop too far behind Red Bull.

He added: “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.”

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