Saturday, March 2, 2024

Mercedes Hopeful of More Competitive Weekend in ‘Unique’ Singapore – Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff insists the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team maximised their result in the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago as George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took fifth and sixth, but it is important to show better performance this weekend in Singapore.

Mercedes were obviously the third fastest team at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza behind Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari, but they were still able to score some good points to consolidate their second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says it was encouraging to have a good Italian race despite the track not suiting the W14, and it bodes well for the upcoming events that should see the team perform at a higher level.

“We maximised the result in Monza with the package we had,” said Wolff.  “That will be important across the rest of the season to secure second in the Constructors’.

“At a circuit that didn’t necessarily suit the characteristics of our car, we were still competitive. It’s encouraging to see that the W14 is performing well across a range of tracks. We’ve had some time to debrief an intense double header and we’re now heading into another one.”

Wolff says the track changes made to the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore ahead of this weekends race should make the track more flowing and much kinder on the tyres.  Four corners have been removed from the track, with turns sixteen through nineteen being replaced by a straight.

However, the track is still expected to require a high downforce set-up, and Wolff is expecting it to suit Mercedes better than the low downforce requirement at Monza.

“Singapore is a unique challenge for every team,” he added.  “The hot and humid conditions are tough on the drivers, team members and the cars.

“It’s a bumpy track and there are some changes to the layout for this year, too. It should make the lap more flowing and slightly kinder on the tyres.

“The battle with our nearest competitors is incredibly close. It’s hard to predict just how the order will shake out each weekend. Nonetheless, we typically perform better on high downforce tracks, so we’re hopeful of a competitive showing.”