Toto Wolff has revealed how he "loved" seeing his Mercedes team fight for maximum performance with its underperforming W13 in Azerbaijan and believes that spirit will lead a path back to the top of F1.
The Austrian team principal apologised to Lewis Hamilton for the "s***box" car at the end of the grand prix that saw the seven-time champion experience difficulty in climbing from the cockpit, such was the poor ride of the machinery over the Baku bumps.
Nevertheless, George Russell took another podium to stay within touching distance of Charles Leclerc in the drivers' standings, with Hamilton finishing fourth as a result of Ferrari's double DNF.
Recounting the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, Wolff explained: "Baku was a tricky weekend for us, particularly with the bouncing issues, but we really maximised the opportunities that came our way and left Azerbaijan with a solid collection of points.
"We benefited from the misfortune of others, but reliability is an important factor in Formula 1 and there's no shortage of hard work at Brackley and Brixworth behind getting both cars to the finish line.
"We once again found ourselves clear of the midfield in terms of pace, but a chunk behind the top two teams.
"We're working flat out to close that gap. But with an underperforming package, I loved seeing the fight in the team to pull together and get us the best result possible with the tools at hand.
"That spirit will bring us back to competing at the front."
Wolff hoping for step forward in Canada
The Canadian Grand Prix returns this weekend for the first time since 2019 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Mercedes given little time to understand the reasons for its poor ride quality in Baku.
"Having not been to Montreal since 2019, we're all excited to return," said Wolff.
"It's a wonderful city and the Canadian fans are very passionate about F1.
"The track is a unique challenge, with chicanes separated by long straights. We're looking forward to seeing what the weekend has in store and hope we can take a step forward."