Motorsports

Mercedes still not “too optimistic” despite British GP victory challenge

A raft of updates to the W13, allied to the smooth and high-speed Silverstone circuit perfectly suiting its car, allowed Lewis Hamilton to fight with Ferrari for the win.

Although Hamilton eventually finished third, behind race-winner Carlos Sainz and the recovering Sergio Perez, the fact that he was able to battle for a podium spot on pure pace marked a big step forward for his Brackley-based squad.

However, despite the British GP form indicating that Mercedes is making good progress with its car, Wolff is adamant that his team will not allow itself to make the same mistake it made after this year’s Spanish GP.

After that race, where Hamilton showed similarly strong pace, Mercedes hoped it had turned the corner on its campaign and would be able to target better results.

But struggles at subsequent venues since then – including especially tricky times in Monaco and Baku – proved to be a reality check for the team.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com, Wolff said that the Silverstone result was far from enough for Mercedes to feel that the team could go on the attack from now on.

Asked if he felt the British GP form meant the team could change its mindset for the rest of the season, Wolff said: “No, not yet, because we have had in Barcelona moments of where we saw some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Then the next three street circuits proved that we were wrong, so I don’t want to talk us up nor be too optimistic at this stage.”

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes AMG

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

While the Mercedes is showing a definite step forward in speed compared to pace-setters Red Bull and Ferrari, Wolff believes that Silverstone exposed the fact his team needs to make progress with improving the ride of its car.

Through the high-speed corners at Silverstone, both Hamilton and teammate George Russell encountered ongoing problems with bouncing – although this was not as bad as some other teams.

Pushed on whether he felt that Mercedes could at least feel it now has a solid direction with the W13, Wolff said: “We hit direction in Barcelona too. We still have our ride issue, that we had over all three days, less so in the race, and that’s something we need to tackle.”

With this weekend’s F1 venue in Austria having not especially suited Mercedes in the past, Wolff thinks it could be a better barometer of his team’s form.

“There’s a few corners which in the past didn’t make our car happy, so that’s something we need to look at,” he said.

“But it’s a constant learning curve. I think this season is going to be a pretty tough one to win, so we just need to get our ducks in a row to be properly on top of the car’s performance.”


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