Mercedes aiming to rebuild ‘points cushion’ after Montreal setback

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team needs to shore up its point total at tracks like the Red Bull Ring which suits its car.

He admitted the team’s defeat by Ferrari at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve had been a setback at a venue where they expected to be strong.

“You need to score points on the tracks where your car and drivers work well,” said Wolff. “That’s why Montreal was a bit of a blow for us because we were expecting to build a cushion of points and weren’t able to do that.

“[Today] is an important day.”

Hamilton goes into today’s race with a 14-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship. The team lead Ferrari in the constructors’ standings by 23 points.

Mercedes has won all four Austrian Grands Prix since the race returned to the calendar but Wolff pointed out it can’t take that for granted and needs to keep developing its W09.

“Certainly you can see that Montreal was also ‘our track’ in the past and we weren’t able to win the race there because we lacked performance. The others brought the engine upgrades, we couldn’t, and this is one or two tenths that make all the difference this year.

“And obviously in Le Castellet [Paul Ricard] and now, we’ve brought the engine upgrade, we’ve brought the chassis upgrade, and that has given us a little buffer again. So the development race is going to continue and you need to bring performance possibly to every race, if you can.”

Valtteri Bottas starts today’s race from pole position but is yet to score his first victory of the year. Wolff said there would be an element of “karma” if he does win.

“He had so much bad luck in Baku, he should have won the race. In China he could have won the race. And Le Castellet was a victim in lap one. He would have been very close to the lead of the championship.

“I believe in karma and I think it’s going to go back towards Valtteri, the bad luck he has will eventually translate into good luck. Whether it’s going to happen tomorrow or any time soon I don’t know but I’m sure it’s going to happen.”

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2018 F1 season

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13 comments on “Mercedes aiming to rebuild ‘points cushion’ after Montreal setback”

  1. Don’t worry Toto, Ferrari will keep stepping on their own toes. You’ll get your championships!

    1. see how effortless Vettel overtook Hamilton just now, and Hamilton struggling then tyre blistering, lastly ended race due to reliability. Obviously the PU 2.1 and aero-upgrade are just some over-hyped.

    2. Didn’t quite work out thoug now, did it Sam!

  2. Alex McFarlane
    1st July 2018, 15:38

    Well, that went well.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        1st July 2018, 15:49

        I think some tables are going to be meeting Toto’s fists tonight.

        1. Strategy failed (VSC), tire management failed, whole car failed and stopped. Starting 1-2, Merc managed to lose the race 3 times.

    1. Beat me to it.

  3. Rip xD

  4. You have a lot more rebuilding to do after today Toto.

  5. GtisBetter (@)
    1st July 2018, 16:04

    As you can see, karma doesn’t work like that toto.

  6. Famous last words…

  7. Ten points behind Ferrari now, excellent work Wolff.

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