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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has no problem with Red Bull bossing new F1 season: 'It's a meritocracy'

Mercedes team principal and CEO Toto Wolff says he has no problem with Red Bull bossing the Formula 1 season, calling success in the sport 'a meritocracy'; Red Bull have won 12 of the last 13 F1 races, with Lewis Hamilton describing them as 'the fastest I have ever seen'

YAS MARINA CIRCUIT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 19: Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG, attends the Press Conference during the Abu Dhabi GP at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday November 19, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Gareth Harford / Sutton Images)
Image: Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal and CEO, says he sees no problem with Red Bull's F1 dominance

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has sided with rival Christian Horner in defending Red Bull's dominant start to the new season.

Sergio Perez led home team-mate Max Verstappen at Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Red Bull secured their second crushing one-two finish in as many races.

Red Bull have now won 12 of the last 13 races, with Lewis Hamilton describing their machine as the fastest he has ever seen.

However, there are fears that Red Bull's superiority could prove a turn-off for Formula One fans, undoing the sport's dramatic surge in popularity in recent years.

But Wolff, who oversaw Mercedes' run of eight consecutive constructors' world championships, said: "We have had those years where we were as strong, but it is a meritocracy.

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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell acknowledged Red Bull are the clear frontrunners

"We shouldn't talk it down because I remember hearing voices like that between 2014 and 2020. What makes the sport so special is that you need to work hard to win, and you deserve it, and that is matter of fact.

"Even if it is not great for the show that the same guys win all the time, it is because they have done a good job and we haven't.

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"We all hope for good entertainment and it is our duty to catch up and fight these guys. We will do everything in our power to fight back and we will look at areas of weakness that they may have.

"Entertainment follows sport and that [Red Bull's dominance] is maybe not good for the commercial side but it is what makes Formula 1 so special."

George Russell and Hamilton finished fourth and fifth respectively for Mercedes in Jeddah, with the latter more than half a minute behind Perez.

For the majority of Sunday's race, Perez and Verstappen were a second a lap quicker than the rest of the field.

Hamilton has already written off his chances of fighting for a record eighth world crown this season.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
Image: Red Bull have won 12 of the last 13 Formula 1 races

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place around Albert Park Circuit

But Wolff remains confident the 38-year-old will not turn his back on F1 when his contract with Mercedes expires at the end of the year.

"Lewis is a fighter and so are we," he added. "If the fight is on, you stay and you fight and you don't throw the towel in.

"That is how we all are in the team so that is why I have no reason to believe he is going to walk away from it."

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