Wolff hopeful about the continuation of the season for Mercedes: ‘Look at last season’

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Wolff hopeful about the continuation of the season for Mercedes: 'Look at last season'

The weekend started hopefully for the Mercedes team. The results from the free practice seemed to indicate that the German racing team had almost found the right setting for the W15. Yet George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished in seventh and ninth respectively during the race. According to Toto, that doesn’t get in the way of the team.

Of course the team boss is not happy with the result achieved. “If you look at the seventh and ninth places achieved in qualifying and the seventh and ninth places in the race, that is absolutely not good and everyone knows that,” Wolff said, according to Motorsportweek.

Failed one stopper

What did happen is that the team learned to understand the car better in Suzuka. ‘We have certainly made great strides in terms of where we want to go with the car, what still needs to be done, and also to what extent we understand the car.’ Also compared to the team’s performance at the Suzuka circuit last year, Wolff believes the team has improved. ‘We were very fast in the esses, while that was not the case last year.’

Wolff also returns to the strategy that the team followed during the race. It was assumed that the team would only need one pit stop. “We were trying to do a one-stopper. We probably asked too much of the tires and had a terrible first stint.’ According to Wolff, the disappointing performance during the first stint was not due to the higher track temperature, as was the case in Australia. ‘There was only a three degree difference in track temperature between the first and second stint.’

The Austrian does not deny that track temperature affects performance. ‘While I certainly believe there is a link between our performance and track temperature, I don’t think that was the reason for our performance in the first stint. I tried to get a one-stopper out of it.” This would have lost most of the time.

Competing with Ferrari and McLaren

Despite the disappointing results, Wolff insists the weekend in Japan is not a total failure for the team. ‘Seventh and ninth (place, ed.) are not good, period. I can’t add anything to that and I can’t make it more beautiful than it is. Still, I don’t think we leave Suzuka being happy with the result, but knowing that there is more to come.’

According to Wolff, the German racing team can certainly recover this season. According to Wolff, Mercedes would certainly compete with Ferrari and McLaren. ‘I think we can only look back and wonder how last season went. You can then see how much the performance fluctuated.’

‘Ferrari was not very good (last season, ed.), but in the end they were able to turn that around. They became the second team at a later stage of the championship. The same goes for McLaren. That was an even bigger turnaround: they did not get past Q1 and at the end they were regularly fighting for a podium spot. I think we’re going to see these kinds of shifts. At the moment we cannot compete with them yet, but that will happen. That is certainly a realistic goal, more realistic than Verstappen.’

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