Wolff admits Red Bull defeat in Singapore 'a breath of fresh air'

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted that a thrilling finale in Singapore and the sight of podium void of Red Bull’s presence was “a breath of fresh air” for Formula 1.

A remarkable performance by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz across the entire weekend at Marina Bay coupled with an unexpected collapse of Red Bull’s form put an end to a record clean sweep that started last year in Abu Dhabi for the bulls.

While Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez spent their evening in the midfield, the pair finishing respectively P5 and P8, a gripping Ferrari-McLaren-Mercedes battle at the head of the field kept the fans on the edge of their seat.

“I think they [Red Bull] have been so strong, they have won all races this year,” Wolff said after the race in Singapore.

“We must not forget we have this outlier here in Singapore which was a difficult track for us in the past in dominant years.

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“I have no doubt that they will be strong for the conventional race tracks.

“It’s a breath of fresh air that we have a different winner, we have a podium without them so you’ve got to take the small positives in a year of Red Bull dominance.”

Both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were in contention for a race win in the closing stages of the event at Marina Bay.

But Russell’s efforts to overhaul Lando Norris to go after Sainz ended in the wall for the Briton and landed Hamilton on the final step of the podium.

Mercedes hopes to win a race in the back half of the season, but this year could end as the Brackley squad’s first winless campaign under Wolff’s stewardship.

“I’d like to say that every year we have raced we have had a win at least, but you’ve got to stay humble about it,” commented the Austrian.

“We have had a super strong Red Bull all year, it was Ferrari that was strong in Monza [and Singapore].

“I hope that we have more opportunities to race at the front, we’ll see in six, seven days again where we are [in Japan], then Brazil can be a good one for us, we’ll bring some stuff to Austin.

“So, some fun races ahead and I certainly look very much forward to them.

“This car has been a surprise box all along. I bet if you asked Red Bull why they didn’t get it right [in Singapore] I am not sure they know.

“These ground effect cars are just very difficult to setup. If you fall out of the window, you have no performance and that has happened to us more than we got it right.”

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