'Expectations are low' – Toto Wolff in brutal assessment of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell's chances at Monaco GP

MERCEDES Formula One chief Toto Wolff has brutally lowered expectations around Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

Russell and Hamilton drove to a P3 and P4 finish respectively in Barcelona last time out, impressing with their latest car upgrades.

But despite the promise Merc showed in Spain, Wolff is keen to calm rising hope around the team.

The German claims "expectations are lower" heading into Monaco.

Wolff said: "Monaco in the past wasn’t our most happy place.

"Maybe because the car was the size of an elephant!


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“I will be curious to see where we are this weekend.

"My expectations are lower than any other circuit… it’s going to be a learning point at least, to bring us back into the game.”

Lower expectations make it more likely that an outcome will exceed those expectations and may have a positive impact on how the team performs for the rest of the season.

They could even leapfrog Ferrari, who got off to a roaring start this race calendar.

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Charles Leclerc won in Bahrain and Australia, with current F1 world Champion Max Verstappen's Saudi Arabia win in between.

But Verstappen has won the last three races in Imola, Miami and Spain to take the lead in the Driver's Championship.

Leclerc scored his first DNF of the season in Barca due to a loss of power while he was leading the race.

The problem means Ferrari have been forced into their final engine change for this season and anymore could lead to grid penalties – which could be a massive boost for Merc and Red Bull.

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