Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says he isn't concerned about whether his team finish second or third in the Constructors' Championship, saying he would rather Mercedes win races on merit.
Although Mercedes are some way off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, who have won all the races so far in 2022, a combination of Ferrari's poor reliability, questionable strategy and driver errors mean the Silver Arrows are closing in on the faltering Scuderia.
Mercedes have only suffered one retirement so far in 2022, and finished second and third in France and Hungary to score 67 points in the last two races, while Ferrari managed only 31 over the same period.
But while the Silver Arrows are now only 30 points behind Ferrari, Wolff said he wasn't concerned about overhauling the Scuderia into second spot.
"Second [is the] first loser," Wolff told media including RacingNews365.com.
"For me, whether it's second or third in the Constructors' Championship is not so relevant, compared to really racing and being at the front, developing the car so we can win races on merit, beat the Ferraris, beat the Red Bulls and prepare for next year, rather than really care about the championship position."
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Wolff: Mercedes not 'back in the game' yet
Mercedes have seemingly closed the performance gap to Red Bull and Ferrari in recent races, and George Russell took his and the Silver Arrows' first pole of the season in Hungary.
However, Wolff said that the team's good form and Russell's pole in Budapest are not indicators that Mercedes are ready to challenge for race wins just yet.
"I don't want to say now suddenly we are right back into the game and we can win races, because I don't think that's the case,” said Wolff.
"I think we landed well in Budapest on Saturday [with Russell's pole lap] and we reaped the results [in the race], but I don't think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to really fight them yet.
"Lots of learning [still to do], and it's also important to get it wrong."
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