Toto Wolff disagrees with Lewis Hamilton statement on Red Bull

Toto Wolff has appeared to contradict Lewis Hamilton’s claim that Mercedes will not catch Red Bull until the 2026 regulation changes in Formula One. Red Bull and Max Verstappen have been dominant since rule changes were made at the start of 2022, winning 35 of 45 Grands Prix.

Verstappen has claimed the World Drivers’ Championship for the third consecutive year, leaving the likes of Hamilton, George Russell and Charles Leclerc trailing way behind. The Dutchman is a huge 266 points ahead of second-placed Red Bull colleague Sergio Perez in the drivers’ standings.

Many within the sport have predicted that Red Bull’s dominance will continue until fresh regulations are introduced in 2026. Red Bull took advantage of the most recent regulation change in 2022, being the fastest team to build a car capable of winning championships.

But Wolff believes that Mercedes can work hard to ensure Red Bull do not blow away the sport for the next three years. “We’re giving it all to break the cycle,” the Mercedes team principal told Bloomberg.

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“We had five years of dominance of Ferrari, then we had a spell of Red Bull, and then it was us eight times in a row, and now it’s the second Constructors Championship for Red Bull, or the third drivers championship with a very good driver.

“So, with all we have, back in the factory and at the racetrack, we’re trying to come up with a car and with an execution that is as good as it can be, and we have a next cycle of regulatory engine in 2026, we’ve got to turn this around.”

It comes after Mercedes driver Hamilton agreed with Ferrari star Leclerc’s prediction that Red Bull could dominate until 2026.

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“For sure they have a really big margin and it’s going to be very difficult to catch them before the change of regulations,” Leclerc said.

Asked if he agreed with Leclerc’s assessment, the seven-time world champion Hamilton said: “The fact is they are ahead, and most likely have been developing next year’s car already a month before everybody else as they’re 100, 200 points ahead in the championship.

“So it’s very, very possible that Charles could be right, but we’re working on the steep gradient trying to develop, and get ourselves to close the gap. Whether or not we can next year will be proof within that, I hope we can.”

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