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Wolff Speaks Out on Red Bull’s Supposed ‘Downgrade’ Amid Tightening F1 Championship Race

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Has Red Bull's performance declined? Toto Wolff shares his thoughts following a dispute over a 'downgrade'

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has shared his views on Red Bull's current success in Formula 1, suggesting that the difference in performance among the leading four teams is becoming less pronounced.

Red Bull bounced back with a victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, following a challenging weekend in Montreal. This success came on the heels of their poorest showing in the 2024 season at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The current global titleholders lagged behind in Monaco, facing difficulties with their RB20 vehicle due to problems with riding the kerbs and bumps, challenges that also slightly affected their performance in Canada.

Mercedes technical director James Allison hinted that Red Bull's problems might stem from a recent upgrade that seems to be resulting in a decrease in performance, rather than an improvement.

"Allison remarked, 'It seems like their improvement turned out to be a setback. Let's hope it truly throws them off.'"

"An upgrade malfunctioning complicates matters significantly, as once your confidence in your equipment falters, you're forced to retrace your steps, resulting in a significant loss of time. Time is your most valuable ally, and losing it becomes your greatest adversary."

Red Bull's team leader, Christian Horner, swiftly dismissed Allison's assertion, retorting, "Despite our performance reduction, we still outperformed their improvements. Securing the victory was indeed satisfying."

Inquired about his opinion on whether Red Bull has experienced a decline in their recent performances, Wolff shared with Sky Sports F1, “The past several races seemed to have been more challenging for them [Red Bull]. It appears that everyone else has made significant progress.

"In Canada, it was possible for two or three teams to have won the race, although perhaps not us as much."

"It's unclear if Red Bull has regressed. What matters most is that the distance is narrowing."

Nonetheless, Wolff expects Red Bull to pose a strong challenge in the forthcoming series of European races, kicking off with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona next week.

"Wolff mentioned, 'Barcelona could be intriguing, depending on their strength there.'"

"Austria is their domain. Last year, McLaren showed significant strength there during their resurgence. It's typically not favorable for us."

"Don't overlook Max and the Red Bulls; they continue to set the standard and remain at the top."

"However, McLaren has significantly advanced, and let's not overlook Ferrari. They may not have been prominent in Canada, but just a fortnight earlier in Monaco, they were leading the pack."

"Four teams are now in the running."

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