Monday, May 27, 2024

Toto Wolff Aware Canadian GP Won’t ‘Suit’ W14

After enjoying such a positive weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix looks set to be a return to reality for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, due to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve‘s low-speed corners.

The Silver Arrows head to Canada having claimed their first double podium since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya just over a week ago. Lewis Hamilton finished second with George Russell in third, despite the latter having a woeful Saturday.

Russell’s performance was truly exceptional in Spain, given that he started the race in twelfth. The strong result saw the Germans move above Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in the Constructors’ Championship, and into second.

Mercedes’ new concept certainly worked a treat in Barcelona; however, Team Principal Toto Wolff is aware that the venue was always going to suit the W14.

“The result in Spain was a well-deserved reward for everyone’s efforts at Brackley and Brixworth to bring our update package to the track. We were pleased with how it performed, and it will provide a new baseline for us to build from.
“But we must also manage our expectations. It was a circuit that suited our car, and we should expect our direct competitors to be stronger in the next races. The gap to Red Bull is large and it will take lots of hard work to close that down. Nevertheless, we’re up for the challenge.”

Credit: LAT Images

Following the Spanish GP, Mercedes remained in Barcelona to take part in a two-day Pirelli test. During the second day of the test, reserve driver Mick Schumacher got his first experience of the W14, with Wolff having been impressed by the work he conducted on the day.
“Following the Grand Prix in Spain, Mick got his first opportunity to drive the W14,” said Wolff.

“He settled in well during the Pirelli tyre test and enjoyed the experience. Mick has become a valuable member of the Team already and his work in the simulator has proved useful in finding lap time, as we saw in Barcelona.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s eighth round of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, Wolff is aware that it will be a challenging weekend for the Silver Arrows. The numerous low-speed corners at the Canadian venue aren’t likely to work in the W14’s favour; however, it will present the team with a great chance to learn more about the new concept’s performance.

A good performance this weekend will actually be hugely significant for Mercedes, given that it’s a venue they aren’t expecting to run well at.
“We now move on to Montreal. With its long straights and low-speed corners, it’s not a track that we expect to suit our car as well as Barcelona did,” Wolff admitted.

“No matter where the true pace of the car is this weekend, we will aim to maximise our result. The characteristics of the circuit will also provide further opportunity to learn about the W14 and feed into our development path.”