Monday, May 27, 2024

Mercedes ‘need to keep adding performance if we are to close the gap to the front’ – Wolff

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team head to the Hungaroring this weekend for the Hungarian Grand Prix with an eye on extending their advantage over the other teams fighting over second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Toto Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, says Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have had an ‘up-and-down’ first ten races of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and the teams behind Oracle Red Bull Racing have been fluctuating almost race-by-race.

Mercedes extended their advantage over the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team thanks to a strong result last time out at Silverstone, but with Scuderia Ferrari and the resurgent McLaren F1 Team now also looking strong, Wolff says it is important for his team to continue to push to find gains to ensure they come out on top.

“We head to Hungary looking forward to tackling the double-header before the summer shutdown,” said Wolff.  “It has been an up-and-down first half of the year, but we can take several positives.

“At Silverstone, we outscored our closest competitors. We executed well on race day. We were able to race to the podium and extend our P2 advantage in the championship. However, the order is fluctuating almost every weekend.

“We need to keep adding performance if we are to close the gap to the front and fight for victories.  Several teams have made big gains recently. This has brought some into the fight with us, especially McLaren.

“It has been impressive and gives us encouragement that we can also continue to find gains. We relish that challenge and will bring our own steps in due course.”

Wolff is hoping the recent updates to the W14 work as well at the Hungaroring, a slow and twisty track, as it did at Silverstone, which is more high-speed.  The team have shown a general upturn in form since it changed its aero concept, but this weekend will be a good test for them.

“The Hungaroring is a circuit that is quite different in nature to Silverstone,” he added.  “It will be interesting to explore how our latest upgrades perform in the long-radius, slow-speed corners.

“We have good memories from Hungary last year, with George’s first pole position in F1 and a double podium for the Team. This race also marks a decade since Lewis’ first win with us, so it’s a circuit full of good memories.

“Hopefully we can have another strong showing this time out. We want to build on the positive momentum from Silverstone and take the fight to our rivals.”