Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Mercedes Looking to ‘Maximise the Outcome’ of Belgian Grand Prix Weekend – Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff felt the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team did not maximise their potential across the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, and he is hoping for better consistency across this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last weekend but was unable to better fourth at the chequered flag, while a compromised Qualifying for George Russell left him eighteenth on the grid, from where he recovered to sixth at the chequered flag.

Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, admitted it was a weekend of highs and lows at the Hungaroring, although he still maintains that they were the second fastest team in Hungary despite finishing behind both Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers and McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris.

“Hungary was a weekend of highs and lows,” said Wolff.  “Our pace was strong on Saturday and Sunday, but we didn’t maximise that across the weekend.

“Lewis produced a brilliant lap to take pole position. However, on Sunday, we were too conservative with some of our decisions and ultimately missed out on a podium. George meanwhile was compromised in qualifying but drove a strong race from P18 to take P6.

“We also encountered cooling limitations across both cars; we likely had the second-fastest car, but we must execute better if we are to deliver our full potential. Nevertheless, we scored good points with both drivers, and consolidated our P2 championship position.”

Wolff hopes the team can build on what they learned in Hungary to be more competitive this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, and he said they will be bringing their next updates to the W14 for the sprint race weekend in Belgium.

“We will be aiming to turn those learnings into actions for this weekend,” Wolff insisted.  “Spa-Francorchamps is a classic venue and a true challenge for both the cars and drivers, especially in the Sprint format with such limited practice time on a long and challenging lap.

“We will be bringing updates this weekend as part of our ongoing development programme. We hope this will be another small step forward in improving the W14.

“As we have seen at many races this year though, it is hard to predict where we will be relative to our competitors. Wherever the true pace of our car is here, we want to maximise the outcome in this final race before the summer shutdown.”