Monday, May 27, 2024

Mercedes’ Wolff on Austria Struggles: “Today was a bruising day for the Team”

Toto Wolff admitted the Austrian Grand Prix was a ‘bruising’ race for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton ending up only seventh and eighth at the chequered flag.

Hopes had been high heading into the weekend at the Red Bull Ring that Mercedes could continue their form from the Spanish and Canadian Grand Prix, with the team fighting for podium places in both after updates were brought to their W14 car.

However, the pace seemed to drop off substantially as they were unable to match the pace of the likes of Scuderia Ferrari, the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team and even the McLaren F1 Team, all who were able to finish ahead of them on Sunday.

Wolff, the Team Principal at Mercedes, said the team knew early in the weekend that the pace in the car was not there, but they will take it on the chin and move forward.

“Today was a bruising day for the Team,” said Wolff.  “We’ve had a positive upward trajectory recently but clearly, we didn’t have the pace we needed here.

“It’s been a tough weekend overall and both drivers have struggled with the car since FP1. From Friday onwards, we have seen that we were lacking a couple of tenths and we couldn’t make the car quicker.

“Once the tyres start sliding, either under braking or through the corner, then you have no grip. That contributed to our lack of performance, but we will have to go away and analyse it in more detail.

“We will take this weekend on the chin and move forward.”

Wolff feels Mercedes’ car will have varying performances on different kinds of track during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, and he foresees them being the closest challengers to the dominant Oracle Red Bull Racing team at times.

“The swings are quite interesting from circuit to circuit where sometimes we are the closest challengers to Red Bull, and at others struggling,” he said.  “We have a step of performance that we are bringing to Silverstone.

“Let’s see if that circuit suits the characteristics of the car a little more and we will analyse from there.”