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Toto Wolff

Mercedes and rivals like 'F2 cars' against Red Bull - Wolff

The Milton Keynes-based outfit has won 12 in a row,

Toto Wolff
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has conceded Red Bull's dominance has reduced the rest of the field to 'F2 cars'.

Max Verstappen took the Milton Keynes-based outfit's F1 record-breaking 12th win in a row with a 33-second victory over McLaren's Lando Norris.

Lewis Hamilton had started on pole position but lost out at Turn 1, slipping behind Verstappen, Norris and Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren.

Having triggered an undercut attempt, Hamilton was left perplexed having lost some six seconds between his pit stop and Norris' a lap later.

Strong pace at the end of the race promoted the seven-time champion back into the top four, though Verstappen, Norris and Sergio Perez locked out the podium.

Wolff still believed the Mercedes was the second-quickest car on the day but, when speaking to media including RacingNews365 conceded: "We could talk each other up and say 'we could have been and would have been second'.

"That is irrelevant because you have a car that was 38 seconds in front that was probably cruising most the time - that is the bitter reality.

"But as I have said before, it is a meritocracy and as long as you are moving within the regulations, you have overall done a better job and we just need to acknowledge that."

We will fight back

Red Bull is yet to be bettered on race day this season, despite Hamilton denying the championship-leading constructor pole for only the second time this term.

"We are going to fight back and win races and championships, but we saw the pace Max had, that's where they are," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"It was like a bunch of Formula 2 cars against a Formula 1 [car], they have done the best job."

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