Mercedes must ‘hit back hard’ – Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has called on his team to “hit back hard” at the Monaco Grand Prix following the disappointment of Barcelona.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collided on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, taking both cars out of the race and opening the door for Max Verstappen to win on his Red Bull debut. Wolff acknowledges the Red Bull victory was a result of Mercedes own failures but wants to see a response in Monaco.

“Clearly, Barcelona was tough to take,” Wolff said. “We came away upset at an opportunity missed – but this is racing. The drivers know how we operate. The team is responsible for giving them the best possible cars and they are responsible for getting the best out of them – and for bringing them home.

“When we let them down, we apologise to and the same goes the other way. It’s a pretty normal culture – we deal with setbacks together and we move on.

“Now, we go to Monaco and a very different challenge. Once again, we have seen our competitors make steps forward which have given us an even bigger battle on our hands.

“Red Bull came out on top in Barcelona after a close fight with Ferrari, so it’s clear that we are under attack from more than one angle. We cannot afford to drop the ball, so we must remain united, remain strong and hit back hard this weekend.”

Mercedes has won the last three races in Monaco, with Rosberg winning on all three occasions after a strategic error relegated Hamilton to third place late on last season.

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