Toto Wolff sets drastic targets for Lewis Hamilton and Russell as Mercedes left worried

Mercedes endured yet another frustrating weekend at the Las Vegas Grand Prix as they lost major ground to rivals Ferrari.

Toto Wolff has stated that he is hoping for two podium finishes for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi following yet another difficult weekend, this time at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows took the chequered flag with Russell running down in P8 and Hamilton one place further up the order in P7. However, those results did not tell the full story of a Grand Prix that offered up plenty of moments of chaos for both of their drivers.

Mercedes’ hopes of finishing second in the Constructors’ Championship were all but shattered by a ten-point haul. With Carlos Sainz qualifying in P6 and Charles Leclerc snatching P2 on the last lap, Ferrari gained significant ground in that battle, reducing the Silver Arrows’ lead to just four points heading into the season finale.

When talking about his expectations for the last race of the difficult 2023 campaign, Wolff wasn’t shy about stating his goals. “We have seen pace-ish today,” he stated to Sky Sports F1. I believe we have a chance to bounce back and take home strong podiums.”

The Mercedes CEO expressed optimism regarding the first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix, saying, “I wouldn’t change a lot.” Maybe I should move qualifying from midnight to 10 p.m., the same time as the race start. Thus, you can continue to host dinner for the fans and keep the roads in Vegas wide open. Apart from that, the event was flawless.”

Even though the outcome was incredibly frustrating when the checkered flag flew, Russell and Hamilton both showed remarkable speed in their recovery cars. Despite being involved in a collision with Sainz on the first lap and getting punctured after a collision with Oscar Piastri, the latter was able to finish in the points.

A truly difficult race, Hamilton said to Sky Sports F1. “It was challenging at first to start on the hard tire. I attempted to avoid hitting the cars that had spun around after taking a hard hit from behind, from what I believe was Carlos. I retreated five or six positions.

“After that, I was just heading back.” The pace was strong, the tyres felt good, and I was feeling fantastic. I don’t really know what happened, but I went up inside Piastri and was clearly hit from behind. It seems to have been a racing incident.

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