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Wolff makes fresh Mercedes assessment after four podiums in a row

After four podium finishes in a row for Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff says the Silver Arrows have made inroads into Ferrari and Red Bull’s advantage at the top.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says his team have halved the deficit to Ferrari and Red Bull since the start of the season. Having won eight consecutive Constructors' Championships between 2014 and 2021, the Silver Arrows have slipped back this year, with the W13 showing a worrying propensity to porpoise in the season's early rounds. But, with Mercedes scoring their fourth consecutive podium at the Austrian Grand Prix, Wolff noted the extent to which his team have closed the gap on the front-running Ferrari and Red Bull outfits over recent races. "We're missing a few tenths here and there," Wolff told Sky Sports F1 after the Grand Prix. "I think we've halved the gap [to the leaders] over the last few months, but we're still third, somewhere right in the middle of nowhere. "If we had started in the top six, we probably could have held on to Max [Verstappen, who finished second in Austria] and not been so far away. "We didn't expect to be very competitive here because of the nature of the track. It wasn't a happy place for us in the past. So I'm okay, we just need to continue to grind away."

Wolff upbeat on Mercedes' French GP prospects

Wolff added that he expected Mercedes' good recent form to continue at the upcoming French Grand Prix. "I didn't think we would be really great in Baku and Monaco, but Paul Ricard should be okay," said Wolff. "It's a smooth circuit, a little bit like Silverstone, fast corners, and on paper, at least, it looks like we can have a good performance there." Despite Mercedes having fallen from their previously lofty heights so far this year, Wolff is insistent that morale in the Silver Arrows camp remains high, citing the team's recent gains. "We are starting to see that we're chipping away performance from the leaders, which is important," the team boss added. "And we find ourselves in a situation which we have always discussed, which is, one day, after eight consecutive titles, that series is going to break, and we want to make it a blip and not a longer cycle."

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