Toto Wolff has given his take on what Mercedes can achieve in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and joked that they could win if the four cars ahead crash out at Turn 1.
George Russell will line up in fifth position for Sunday's race, while teammate Lewis Hamilton took P7, with the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly sandwiched between them in sixth.
In terms of whether the result was what he expected, Wolff says that he anticipated the team taking their usual 'best of the rest' slot behind Ferrari and Red Bull, but did not expect the gap to be quite so great.
"I think the position was to expect third quickest on the road," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
"Gasly, he [has] had some really good races and that was probably one of these. So in terms of position [I expected it], but the gap is big.
"It's a long lap time, and we are lacking pretty much everywhere. I wish I don't need to look at these kinds of overlays in the future anymore."
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Wolff assess Mercedes' race prospects
Looking ahead to the Grand Prix, Wolff believes that fifth and sixth positions are probably the realistic goal for the Silver Arrows, unless there is an unusual turn of events at the front.
"If you look at it through rose tinted glasses, you can say, 'Hopefully, four of them in the front crash out in Turn 1, then we can win the race,'" Wolff joked.
"But I think on pure pace, it's realistic to finish fifth and sixth."
With the Azerbaijan Grand Prix having thrown up some eventful races in the past, Wolff admits that strategy could play a role in the outcome.
"Strategy can play a big role," he added.
"I think you can recover quite good positions if you're on the right strategy. We can gamble, because when you're the hunter, it's a different situation."
Thoughts on Hamilton being under investigation
Wolff also gave his take on Hamilton being under investigation by the stewards for allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly during Q2.
"I cannot preempt what the stewards are going to say," the Team Principal acknowledged.
"I think he was within the so-called delta time. What that means, [and] how the stewards are going to assess it, I don't know."
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