Toto Wolff says Mercedes felt “subdued” following its surprise victory in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, calling Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc “the emotional winner” after his late demise.

Leclerc was on course to take his maiden F1 victory before an engine issue in the closing stages caused him to slow and drop to third, allowing Mercedes to sweep to a one-two finish, led by Lewis Hamilton.

Despite a near-perfect start to the season that has seen the team score 87 of a possible 88 points, Mercedes chief Wolff said feelings were far from jubilant in the aftermath of the Bahrain weekend following Ferrari’s domination.

“It’s a bit subdued because we are all racers, and the emotional winner was Charles,” Wolff said.

“But on the other side, in motor racing, you end up in both situations. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you’re unlucky. It all weighs out at the end. That is my experience at least.

“You have to take the one-two, celebrate, but take it with humility and a knowledge that there is work to be done, and not think that this was the performance ranking of the Sunday. It wasn’t.”

Wolff praised Leclerc for showing great maturity in his reaction to the defeat.

“It’s very, very impressive. He has a good personality, he is a humble young man and he’s very fast,” Wolff said.

“The combination between the speed, personality and being able to temper your emotions in both directions is a great ingredient.

“I know that many other drivers who have the lion in them, like he certainly has, would have reacted in a much more controversial way about the third place and would have been angry and would have displayed that.

“None of that you see with Charles.”



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