Toto Wolff ranks Lewis Hamilton’s chances of F1 world title this season

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned Lewis Hamilton that his odds of winning the Formula One world championship are slim this year.

Hamilton and Mercedes have had a lacklustre start to the new season in comparison to their dominance over the past decade. The Brit, 37, trails championship leader Charles Leclerc by 43 points already.

And Mercedes team principal Wolff has been discussing the team’s chances of getting back into the title race following their lack of pace due to porpoising issues. Wolff was realistic in giving the Silver Arrows a lowly 40% chance of recovering from their disappointing start.

He said: "If we look at it from a mathematical standpoint and probability, I would probably say that the odds are eight-to-two but this is motor racing and anything can happen. Teams can DNF and if we unlock the potential of the car then we can arrive back in the game.

"So as a motor racer, I would say it is probably 40-60. As a mathematician, I would say the odds are worse against us."

Despite the issues with their new W13 car, Mercedes have fared better than rivals Red Bull in terms of reliability. That puts them second in the constructor's standings, following two DNFs in three races for current champion Max Verstappen this season.

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But Ferrari are the runaway leaders due to the brilliance of Leclerc and a brilliant engine. And Wolff admits Mercedes’ struggles are keeping him up at night.

He explained: "I don’t sleep, and that is not because of jet lag. I am not sleeping because I am beating myself up on how to get on top of these things. It is a miserable state of mind.

"But you cannot be miserable. I have to look for solutions and I am trying to improve myself in order to extract more performance — and it’s the same for Lewis. I see an upbeat Lewis when we start the day and then a downbeat Lewis when the session has gone worse than expected.

“I have had to stop thinking in terms of sessions and weekends, but about years. There will be years like this one where we have really bad weekends, but these weekends are necessary to learn.

“Are we going to fight for the world championships? My expectation from a pure mathematical stance is no, we are too slow.”

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