Mercedes feel closer to the title fight after Silverstone win – Wolff

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the team feels it is in closer contention with Red Bull following their British Grand Prix victory.

After introducing an upgrade at Silverstone the team was quickest in qualifying for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes won the race following Lewis Hamilton’s controversial first-lap collision with Max Verstappen. That reduced Verstappen’s championship lead to eight points.

Wolff said he is encouraged by the progress the team has made in the title fight. “I think we are more in this than we were before,” he said yesterday. “The car worked as expected.

“But then you obviously need to also account for the fact that Silverstone is a track [with] fast and high-speed corners that our car always felt happy on. So we’re going to see in Budapest, which has been more tricky for us in the past, how we are going to perform.”

The 23-race championship contest has not yet reached its halfway point. “This is still going so long so it’s too early to make assumptions [whether] we are in the fight or not,” Wolff noted. “We haven’t been before Silverstone, so maybe we made a step.”

Wolff said Hamilton had not been affected by the fall-out over his collision with Verstappen. Red Bull petitioned the stewards to review their decision on the incident, seeking a further penalty for Hamilton, which was rejected on Thursday.

“We know each other pretty well and our communication is often and transparent,” said Wolff. “And at no time was there negativity around anything that could have affected him or me.

“It was more about assessing the situation and discussing, actually, Hungary performance. So it didn’t harm him or anything like that.”

“He’s very robust and resilient because history made him like that,” Wolff added. “We spoke a lot, but it wasn’t part of our discussion, or it wasn’t a big part of our discussion.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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28 comments on “Mercedes feel closer to the title fight after Silverstone win – Wolff”

  1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    31st July 2021, 8:29

    They also feel closer as they took their title rival out of the race. That is half the reason.

    Hamilton has had rather a lot of good luck help him out this year at times he himself has made a mistake. Imola as another example. A red flag saved him from finishing at the bottom end of the points.. Even in Baku, while Hamilton won’t have made his mistake had Verstappen not triggered a red flag, had none of this happened, Verstappen still will have had a 10 point advantage that race.

    Even the last race, the red flag that was triggered by the incident effectively saved Hamilton from retirement.

    The more representative gap points wise between them honestly is at least 40 rather than 8. Red Bull have clearly had the better car overall which will have helped with a lot of these points, but I would still say Verstappen has driven well enough this season to still deserve to be at least a race win (25 points) ahead of Hamilton. Hamilton is lucky that things have gone his way despite an unusual amount of mistakes from him this season.

    1. I agree entirely. The Red Bull has been the marginally better car this year, and Verstappen has driven considerably better than Hamilton, but Lewis has had extraordinarily good luck this season while Verstappen very much has not. I’m not complaining about the rules; it is just chance that means it all seems to have gone Hamilton’s way this season, and maybe the luck will even out over the second half of the season.

      1. @f1frog “The Red Bull had been the marginally better car this year” – I hope you are joking dude, i mean it. The FIA changed the floor regulation for this year to benefit high rake teams aka Red Bull and to handicap low rake teams like Mercedes, hence Mercedes lost at least 1.4 seconds. Red Bull had the best car this year because of the FIA rule change because Red Bull constantly complain about everything, Red Bull is also the team that caused many Mercedes innovations to be banned. I have not seen Max driving better, if he did he would have won Silverstone but Max lacks race intelligence and Silverstone just showed us why..

        1. Still dreaming about your fantasy I see :)

        2. @noname I said nothing about why Red Bull is the better car, I just said it is, which is true. But not by a huge amount over the course of the season as Mercedes were faster early on. I agree that Mercedes deserve to be the faster of the two as they have been slowed down by regulations, but they are not. And Verstappen has definitely been the better driver so far. Hamilton made key mistakes in Imola, Baku and Silverstone (although I see that you disagree with the latter), while he also had a shocker in Monaco. Verstappen on the other hand has made no significant errors (again, I see you disagree about Silverstone), only small ones like Paul Ricard, and has also been further ahead of Perez than Hamilton against Bottas, although admittedly Bottas has done a better job of the number twos this year.

          1. @f1frog Verstappen made no significant errors ? In Bahrain he made a error and field to overtake Hamilton despite having the best car, a mistake during qualifying in Imola, two mistakes in Portugal and in Spain and Baku as well, driving around so agressive while his engineer came on the radio to calm Max down but Max had none of it and destroyed his tyres

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            31st July 2021, 16:09

            @noname

            Virtually all your examples are not big mistakes, especially when you compare them to the mistakes hamilton has made this season.

        3. The Mercedes is ahead by miles. Just look at Perez, a very experienced driver. He cant even get near the two Mercedes cars. Its just that Max single handedly takes care we have at least some of a season to watch. Stop believing the Toto propaganda.

          1. I agree, Max is the difference here, look at Bottas, he is closer to Max and Lewis in terms of pace, unfortunately he has worse luck than Max. Perez meanwhile is looking mediocre, but so has all driver who has driven the redbull except for Max.

          2. Davethechicken
            31st July 2021, 13:09

            Perez who was sacked by RP for Vettel?
            Perez who had no F1 drive for 2021 until RBR came along?

          3. Dave, why do you even think a sacked driver was of interest to a top team? Maybe cause the sacking made no sense?

  2. Ben (@scuderia29)
    31st July 2021, 8:37

    That’s usually what happens when you punt off your rival and eat 25 points into his lead..

    1. @scuderia29 Had Max used his brains he would have won Silverstone no doubt but the thing with Max is that he lacks race intelligence, no driver with a healthy points lead will drive the way Max did, driving around like a headless chicken. For some reason Max can’t think ahead..

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        31st July 2021, 9:31

        >Hamilton yeets driver of the road
        >It’s his opponent who didn’t think

        :clown:

        1. @barryfromdownunder It was 100% Max’s fault. Max is a dirty driver and drove very wild, like a headless chicken. Lewis avoided accident in Imola, Spain and during the sprint race to give Max space, yet Max kept continueing to drive like a headless chicken. Max had more to loose than Lewis and had he used his brains he would have thought to be pacient and bide his time because he had already the better car, yet he makes such a dumb mistake bu squeezing Lewis and turning into Lewis.

          1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
            31st July 2021, 9:55

            Ah yes, everyone has to move out of the way for queen Hammie. It has been analyzed tons of times by people with years of experience in the sport who all say the same: Hamilton had plenty of room on the inside but didn’t use any of that.

            But no, they are all wrong and should’ve listened to some random kid on the internet who has just learned the phrase ‘headless chicken’ somewhere and wants to show everyone!

            Like I said: :clown:

          2. Hamilton avoided accident at imola? Ok with verstappen one, but he made a mistake and ran into the wall by himself while lapping russel! Also the stewards thought hamilton was guilty at silverstone, I guess you don’t think highly of the stewards then.

          3. Racing incident.

        2. @barryfromdownunder You mean everybody have to make way for Crashtappen right ? Otherwise he crash into you which he also did. Max lacks race intelligence, he can’t think forwards nor calculate what to do, just agressive driving in the hope the other party backs out, Lewis had none of it last week and Max deserved to be crashed out and i don’t believe the 51G impact either, it’s all made up by Red Bull to get sympathy for their crashing driver. Max knew Lewis was there yet he turns into Lewis

          1. YOu MEan EvErYboDy hAvE To mAKE waY FOr cr@$hT@Pp£N RIGHT ? otHERwiSe He cRasH INto You whiCh HE ALsO dID. MAx Lacks rAce IntelliGeNCE, HE CaN’T ThiNK fORWards NOR CAlcuLATe whAT to DO, jUST AGResSIVE drIVing iN THE hopE The otheR PARtY bACKs oUT, LewIS Had NOne of iT laST Week anD MaX DESErved TO be crAShED OUT anD I dON’T BELIevE THe 51G IMPaCt eItHEr, It’s ALl MaDE uP BY RED buLl TO get SYmpATHy for ThEiR cRAShinG DRIVEr. MAX kNew lEwIs waS thEre yeT HE tUrns iNTO LewiS

            Found the word!

        3. Barry bans i really think you are the clown here. People analyzed and all confirmed it was Ham’s fault as he had a lot of room on the inside? Well all of them didn’t blame Ham for the incident, at least 90% of them said this was a racing incident and 100% of them said Max got greedy on the outside. The gps data even shows he was 20kph quicker than his quickest qualifying lap meaning he was never going to make the corner, and i mean max. Not only this, the footage taken from his own car shows he saw Ham but he turned aggressively on him regardless. List facts, not the things u want. Anyway, keep crying, Mercedes and Hamilton closed the gap and this is a fact.

    2. That’s usually what happens when you dive out the way of a missile in Spain and live to fight another day, or open up your steering and take a chance over the high kerbs when someone decides to side swipe you at Imola
      Then again your competitor has some have luck when for no apparent reason he dives off the track when acting as the safety car, and gets away with it.
      I have got the rules right on this ‘who has all the luck’ haven’t I? You just ignore everything that doesn’t suit your guy?

      1. Yes you’ve got it right. You can continue ignoring everything that doesn’t suit your guy…

        1. Yup. if I keep throwing out nonsense like luck, karma, deserve, etc. and then cherry pick the bits that suit I can make myself feel better by creating a reality they I can live with.

          1. Penalty points. Perez vs the Mercedesses. Just stop it. Lewis isnt near Max talent level. And he knows it too as seen in his desperation.

          2. Well thats a very good point. The sentence Perez v Mercessesssessss is particularly perceptive and well argued.
            Not sure what that has to do with luck though.

  3. NEWS JUST IN: team that benefits from a 50 pt swing in their favour feels confident!

    1. Who could have predicted this?!

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