Toto Wolff has taken aim at Mercedes' struggles in Las Vegas, insisting the team had enough pace in their car to finish on the podium.

The Silver Arrows clinched seventh and eighth on Saturday night, as they lost ground to Ferrari in the fight for second place in the constructors' championship.

Lewis Hamilton can no longer achieve second place in the drivers' championship and with a race to go, the Brackley-based outfit will turn their attention to beating the Scuderia in Abu Dhabi and reaping the financial rewards.

Hamilton endured contact on lap one and a costly puncture in Sin City, while his team-mate George Russell was hit with a penalty and tumbled down the grid.

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Wolff's dejection

"Sums up the season," Wolff told Sky Germany.

"Lewis struggled twice. George made a mistake. The pace of the car was there for a podium but that's the way it is. Then you come home with P7 and P8 and that's really not a good result.

"I've always said that P2 and P3 are completely irrelevant to me. It's about winning. For our employees it makes a difference whether we come second or third, also financially, that's all, but I don't care."

After a difficult start to the weekend, Wolff came to the organisers' defence following fierce criticism from drivers, officials and spectators.

Indeed, after the race, Wolff voiced his opinion that the showpiece had proceeded smoothly, putting to one side his disappointment over Mercedes' performance.

"Everything at the event was good except for our result," Wolff said. "Maybe you can do qualifying an hour or two earlier so that it isn't quite as late, but otherwise the event was perfect."

Mercedes face a tough fight in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix if they are to keep hold of their position in the constructors’ championship.

Over recent races, Ferrari have demonstrated their impressive speed and capability to push Red Bull, laying down a formidable gauntlet to their rivals.

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2023-11-20T19:19:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd