Toto Wolff brands Mercedes dropped points as ‘unacceptable’ after Azerbaijan Grand Prix mistakes

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has branded his team’s current performance “not acceptable” and said they needed to bring their A-game to the French Grand Prix in two weekends’ time.

The defending champions looked set to benefit with a strong points finish when race leader Max Verstappen retired with a late crash following a puncture at yesterday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

But following the restart, Lewis Hamilton, who had been in second, locked up and spun off the track and down to 15th after accidentally hitting a button controlling the brakes on his car.

And Wolff said: “There is just so much we need to improve that I just want to get on it right now to make sure we are able to compete for this championship. Because we can’t continue losing points like we did in Monaco and here. It’s just not acceptable, for all of us.

“What I take away is that we must bring our A-game to fight for this championship, and our car was not there all weekend. Operationally, we just need to perform faultlessly and all of us haven’t done that the last two weekends.

“We haven’t given the drivers a competitive package this week – far from it. It is not only the incident at the end that frustrates, it is overall not meeting our expectations all of us together – Lewis, the engineers, myself, everyone in the team.”

Hamilton issued a public apology to his team and said it had been a “humbling experience” after his costly mishap, which effectively denied him 18 valuable points and the chance to regain the lead in the drivers’ championship.

It was a sour end to what proved to be a scintillating race finale in Baku and an unexpected result as Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez took the second grand prix victory of his career, with Sebastian Vettel a second behind and Pierre Gasly rounding off an unlikely podium.

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