Wolff says this is "toughest" spell as boss

15 June 2021 22:30:24 GMTPlus10

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admits he's enduring his most difficult time as as team principal after two poor races and is urging improvement all round.

Going into the French Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows are trailing Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship, though they can still be backed at 6/4 to win outright with the Austrian team priced at 1/2.

Their fortunes may have to change however, as the last two races at streets circuits in Monaco and Baku have yielded bad results.

A tyre strategy error at Monaco meant Lewis Hamilton, who was seeking a record-breaking eighth drivers' title this season, dropped down to seventh while main title rival Max Verstappen won.

Then, in Azerbaijan, the Brit locked up under braking and was forced to use the escape road which dropped him to last.

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Meanwhile, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas retired in Monaco and only finished 12th in Baku, with Mercedes earning a meagre seven points in those races.

Verstappen is four points head of Hamilton in the drivers' standings with Bottas only sixth after retiring from two of the six races in 2021 so far.

In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull lead Mercedes by 26 points as they seek to end Mercedes' seven-year stranglehold.

Now, Wolff has issued a stern warning saying improvements must be made to his team's performance.

"We are losing seconds over seconds to get the car in a happy window where it functions. It just takes too long," said the Austrian.

"I think there are lots of things that are not running as smoothly as in the past few years.

"There's just so much that we need to improve that I just want to get on it right now in order to make sure that we are actually able to compete for this championship, because we can't continue losing points like we have done in Monaco and Baku."

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