Following what they described as a challenging race in Austria last weekend, Mercedes maintains its belief that there is untapped potential in their W14 car. The team plans to introduce a fresh set of upgrades at the upcoming British Grand Prix, highlighted by an improved front wing. This enhancement aims to enhance aerodynamic balance, particularly in low-speed corners.
While Max Verstappen’s dominance in Formula 1 this season appears unmatched as he inches closer to a third world title, Mercedes’ team principal, Toto Wolff, does not view him as invincible. In response to whether Mercedes still believes they can outpace Red Bull this year, Wolff stated, “I maintain the belief because if I were to say I don’t, then we might as well shift our focus entirely to next year’s car and be content with finishing in the top 10.”
He added, “But that’s not an option. We must continue working relentlessly. We need to accept these difficult days with grace and strive to bounce back and narrow the gap. In Montreal, the difference to Verstappen was a mere 10 seconds, which is far more encouraging than our recent performance in Austria.”
Despite the fluctuating performance of the chasing pack behind Red Bull, depending on track characteristics and upgrade cycles, Wolff remains unperturbed by Mercedes’ setback in Austria. He considers it a temporary blip, stating, “What we are observing is Max consistently leading the pack, while his challengers include his teammate, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lando Norris with the upgrade, and us.”
Wolff continued, “It seems to change from race to race, and we haven’t identified a clear pattern yet. I’ve heard that Ferrari and McLaren introduced upgrades in Austria, which could explain the shift. However, we will bring our own upgrades next week to Silverstone.”
While Mercedes remains optimistic about their prospects of chasing victories, Red Bull continues to possess the potential to win every race this season. Team principal Christian Horner acknowledges their success but understands that a single stroke of misfortune could disrupt their flawless run. Horner recalled an incident from the British Grand Prix last year when Max encountered debris that damaged his car’s floor and prematurely ended his race.
He explained, “Victory and failure hinge on fine margins, and our team operates at an incredible level. However, unfavorable weather, bad luck, or even a puncture can quickly change the circumstances. We must stay at the top of our game and see how long we can sustain this winning streak.”
Horner concluded, “We approach Silverstone with confidence, but we are well aware that it’s easy to make mistakes, and external factors can come into play that are beyond our control.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Formula 1 rivalry
Q: What upgrades does Mercedes plan to introduce at the British Grand Prix?
A: Mercedes plans to introduce a set of upgrades at the British Grand Prix, including an updated front wing aimed at improving aero balance, particularly in low-speed corners.
Q: Does Mercedes still believe they can beat Red Bull on pure pace terms?
A: Yes, Mercedes maintains the belief that they can beat Red Bull on pure pace terms at some point this year. Toto Wolff, the team principal, emphasizes the importance of continuing to work hard and not giving up on their pursuit.
Q: How does Mercedes view their setback in Austria?
A: Mercedes sees their setback in Austria as a temporary blip rather than a cause for alarm. They attribute the fluctuating performance to various factors such as track characteristics and upgrade cycles within the chasing pack behind Red Bull.
Q: Can Red Bull win every race this season?
A: While Red Bull has shown the potential to win every race this season, there is always a chance for setbacks. Christian Horner, the team boss, acknowledges that unforeseen variables or misfortune could disrupt their winning streak, emphasizing the need to stay vigilant.
Q: What does Christian Horner say about the competition with Mercedes?
A: Christian Horner recognizes the intense competition with Mercedes and highlights the fine margins between victory and failure. He acknowledges that external factors like weather, bad luck, or unforeseen incidents can quickly change the circumstances, and the team must stay focused and perform at their best.