The Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, has expressed his frustration and anger at the team’s recent performances. Mercedes failed to score any points in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday and they were also off the pace at the previous round in Monaco.

Wolff has deemed their failure to be competitive as unacceptable and insisted Mercedes must step up their efforts if they are to compete with Red Bull this season.

Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez won the race in Baku where Lewis Hamilton made an uncharacteristic error that cost him a likely second place. He accidentally hit a brake balance switch that caused him to lock up and go off, relegating him to 15th while his teammate Valtteri Bottas could only manage 12th.

Mercedes had been off the pace for much of the weekend in Azerbaijan and in Monaco where Bottas did not finish and Hamilton was seventh. Wolff, who has been team principal at Mercedes since 2013, described the two meetings as the toughest he had experienced.

“You can’t continue losing points, like we’ve done in Monaco and here. It is just not acceptable for all of us,” he said. “Operationally we are not at our A-game. We haven’t found the sweet spot of the car through qualifying and race. There’s just so much that we need to improve. I just want to get on it right now in order to make sure that we are actually able to compete for this championship.”

Mercedes are facing their toughest challenge for the title since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014 and under real pressure from Red Bull. Wolff was convinced, however, that they would be spurred on by the setbacks.

“I’m so angry,” he said. “But have no doubt. This is a team that is so strong. We’re going to transform the anger into a positive force. We’re warriors and we’re going to come back.”

Azerbaijan was the first time since Austria in 2018 that Mercedes have failed to score any points and Red Bull have been able to capitalise on their poor performances. Before Monaco Mercedes had a 29-point advantage in the constructors’ championship. Red Bull now lead Mercedes by 26 points, a 55-point swing.

Hamilton was a solid third for much of the race in Baku but Red Bull had the quicker car and Max Verstappen was on for the win until his race was ended by a tyre failure. Verstappen still has a four-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ championship.

Monaco and Baku were expected not to suit the Mercedes but nonetheless their form will have disappointed, especially given their ability to adapt and overcome problems displayed in winning the past seven drivers’ and constructors’ championships. Wolff was clear he expected more at the next round in France.

“We just need to be the best, the best of us, and the best that we have,” he said. “We haven’t given the drivers a competitive package this weekend. That is the frustration. It is not only the [Hamilton] incident at the end that frustrates, it’s overall not meeting our own expectations. All of us together, Lewis, the engineers, myself, everybody in the team.”

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