Wolff laments one of Mercedes' 'worst days in racing'

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Toto Wolff called it as he saw it after Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, the Mercedes boss insisting the race had been one of his team's "worst days in racing".

On paper, Mercedes was the third best team in the opening round of 2023, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing respectively fifth and seventh and delivering 16 points to the Brackley squad.

But in light of the performance of Red Bull's double runaway train that steamrolled the field at Sakhir and the emergence of Aston Martin as a genuine top-three contender, Wolff admitted that there "was not a single positive thing we can take from this race".

"That was one of our worst days in racing," he added. "It was not good at all, we are lacking pace front, right, and centre.

"The Aston Martins are very fast, and the Red Bull is just on a different planet."

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Wolff conceded that Red Bull's remarkable superiority equated to Mercedes sampling the same unpleasantness it used to dish out to others.

"It hurts that they are so far ahead," he said. "It reminds me of our best years where we put one second on everyone else.

"That is the benchmark. We need to put one foot in front of the other to come back but nobody in this team will throw in the towel.

"We need to dig deep, deeper than we ever have done before. And we can do that."

Mercedes' depressed performance came just a day after Wolff admitted that his team had been wrong to stick to its 2022 concept, and that only radical solutions – which could be tough to implement in F1's cost cap environment – will help extricate the Brackley squad from the doldrums.

"We have given this concept a year's chance. It is not working," said Wolff. "We have not come any closer. The gap to Red Bull has doubled or even tripled.

"We will tackle this immediately after returning to the factory."

Once again, the mighty Mercedes team is in crisis mode.

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