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Toto Wolff

Wolff trying to push away negative thoughts after 'brutal' double DNF

Toto Wolff is struggling to see any positives following a double retirement for Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has conceded he does not feel any positivity toward the Silver Arrows' current position following a "brutal" double retirement in the Australian Grand Prix.

Despite Melbourne's Albert Park being one of Mercedes' strongest venues last season, the team's new concept again looked off the pace, particularly in the hands of Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion was eliminated in Q2 on Saturday and then retired during the race following an unexpected power unit failure. He had been struggling for performance before his first DNF of 2024.

George Russell was again the team's strongest driver, although he suffered a terrifying crash on the penultimate lap of the race. Fernando Alonso was at fault for the accident and received a 20-second time penalty.

Nevertheless, Mercedes' struggle continues, with Wolff seemingly struggling for hope as to how its dire situation can be flipped.

"Tough to take, super tough," Wolff said to select media including RacingNews365. "I would be lying if I said that at any moment I feel positive about the situation and optimistic.

"You just need to overcome the negative thoughts and say we will turn this around, but today feels very, very, very brutal."

'I want to punch myself'

Mercedes looked uncompetitive throughout the weekend at Melbourne's Albert Park. It was considerably off the pace of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull.

McLaren moving ahead of the Brackley-based outfit is highly frustrating for Wolff as it has successfully demonstrated that a poor package can be developed and become competitive.

The Woking-based team has carried its staggering progress from last year into this season, which at least gives Wolff some belief.

"On one side, I want to punch myself on the nose but on the other side, it is also a testimony," assessed Wolff.

"It's a testimony that when you get things right, you can turn it around pretty quickly and you've just got to continue to believe, but at the moment it is a very tough time."

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