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Mercedes's Tough Race Wolff's Take on Suzuka

Mercedes’s Tough Race: Wolff’s Take on Suzuka

07/04/2024

In Suzuka, Mercedes F1 faced a tough race, as Wolff highlights the team’s struggles and optimistically looks ahead.

Toto Wolff laments that Mercedes F1’s initial stint on hard tires missed the mark, complicating the race for George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who finished seventh and ninth at Suzuka respectively.

“We need to delve into the reasons, as the second and third stints proved very effective,” Wolff stated. “That’s the silver lining we take from this race. For us, it’s now a live test. We’ve been behind and took a different path. And I believe that’s what’s happening.”

Every weekend, the Austrian praises the W15, which struggles to secure better than a seventh-place finish in races and qualifiers: “It was definitely much improved, and we have a lot more data pointing us in the right direction, even if the results don’t reflect it.”

“I’m looking forward to racing in Shanghai. We just need a stronger start to the weekend. Some of the concept validation we’ve done here will be applied to the car. We’ll then see what we can achieve in Shanghai. The experiments have worked. We have a clear direction.”

“Even though the results from qualifying and the race don’t reflect it at all. We aimed for a single stop. And we realized that wasn’t feasible. We probably managed the tires too conservatively. But once we matched the stint lengths of others, we were competitive.”

“We finished where we started”

The Mercedes boss emphasizes that his team could have contested for a podium if not for the challenging first stint on hard tires, a strategy attempted during the red flag.

“We finished where we started and it was very tough. We had very fast second and third stints and could have contended for a podium, but the first stint was horrendous. We need to figure out what happened, whether it was too hot, or if we managed too conservatively.”

The initial stint on hard tires was disastrous with catastrophic final laps, which nevertheless concern Wolff: “I think it was the right call at the start because it seemed quite stable in terms of lap times.”

“The direct competitors weren’t pulling too far ahead, but suddenly, the pace dropped by two seconds per lap, then by two and a half seconds per lap. At that moment, it was clear it wouldn’t last.”

Mercedes's Tough Race Wolff's Take on Suzuka

Mercedes’s Tough Race: Wolff’s Take on Suzuka. Mercedes’s Tough Race: Wolff’s Take on Suzuka

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