An uncharacteristic mistake from Lewis Hamilton squandered the chance to win a chaotic race in Baku and dropped him to 15th, while his teammate Valtteri Bottas turned in a dismal performance on his way to 12th. 

It marked just the third occasion in the hybrid era where Mercedes has failed to score, and the first time since the 2012 United States Grand Prix that the team finished outside of the points when both its drivers took the chequered flag. 

Mercedes lost further ground to Red Bull in the constructors’ championship as Sergio Perez claimed his first win for the team, though it would have faced an even more gut-wrenching defeat had Max Verstappen not suffered a high-speed tyre failure while leading with five laps to go.

It was the second below-par performance from Mercedes in as many races after it only managed to score seven points at the previous round in Monaco.

“It just feels painful,” said Wolff. “You can say we had we had the hand almost close to the trophy because Max didn’t score. 

“The emotion, the frustration is just so overwhelming at the moment, I don’t know if I would have taken third or this result. I can’t even tell you.

"What I take away is we must bring our A-game to fight for this championship, and our car was not there all weekend. Operationally we just need to perform faultlessly and all of us haven't done that the last two weekends.” 

Wolff admitted he and Hamilton were left “destroyed” by how the race panned out after the seven-time world champion failed to capitalise on Verstappen’s misfortune.

Mercedes, which has won the last seven constructors’ and drivers’ titles on the bounce, now finds itself trailing Red Bull by 26 points in the teams’ standings, while Hamilton remains four points behind Verstappen. 

"We just need to be the best of us, the best that we have, and we haven't given the drivers a competitive package this weekend - far from it,” Wolff explained. 

“It is not only the incident at the end that frustrates, it is overall not meeting our expectations, all of us together - Lewis, the engineers, myself, everyone in the team.

"There's just so much we need to improve that I just want to get on it right now to make sure we are able to compete for this championship. 

“Because we can't continue losing points like we did in Monaco and here. It's just not acceptable, for all of us.”

Hamilton described his error as “humbling” as he missed a golden opportunity to retake the lead of the world championship. 

“It’s obviously a very painful experience,” he added. 

“It was obviously a stroke of bad luck but Max had bad luck too and these sorts of things happen. 

“Naturally, I’m sorry to all the team and we will just regroup and try and come back stronger. 

“I think there are lots of positives to take from the weekend in terms of where we recovered to get back to. We’ll come back stronger.” 

 

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