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SBNation.com – All Posts: Toto Wolff and Mercedes ready to turn the page after a ‘bruising’ Austrian Grand Prix


Formula 1 CEO And Team Principals Visit Downing Street
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Previewing the British Grand Prix, Wolff predicts an immediate bounceback for Mercedes

It was not the best of weekends for Mercedes in the Styrian Hills.

The team managed just a single point in the F1 Sprint race, and fared little better in the Austrian Grand Prix, with George Russell finishing seventh and Lewis Hamilton behind him in eighth. But as the team looks ahead to their home race, Team Principal Toto Wolff believes they can bounce back “immediately.”

“We’re pleased to get back racing after a bruising weekend in Austria. We scored a handful of points, but we didn’t have the pace for much more. The field behind Red Bull is incredibly close and also fluctuating each weekend. Some of this is circuit-specific, and some the upgrade cycle across the grid,” said Wolff in the team’s media preview ahead of the British Grand Prix. “We fell on the wrong side of this equation in Spielberg, but we’ve got a chance to bounce back immediately.”

Silverstone, located just a few miles down the road from Mercedes F1’s headquarters in Brackley, has always been good for Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion won three-straight races from 2019-2021, and finished third there a season ago.

While it has not been as kind to George Russell, whose best finish at Silverstone during his Williams days was 12th and he retired in last year’s race in his debut Mercedes season, the team is hoping that recent upgrades combined with how the W14 handles high-speed corners should suit them this week.

“The team has been hard at work to analyse and draw learnings from our performance. We have taken the result on the chin and will aim to recapture the momentum we had built up across previous races,” said Wolff. “With the next upgrades and experiments coming in Silverstone, there are reasons for optimism. Nevertheless, we are not getting ahead of ourselves. We’re focused on the job at hand, extracting performance from the car, and will see where we stand this weekend.”

“Our performance is clearly circuit dependent now. We were nowhere here but good in Montreal and Barcelona,” said Russell himself following the Austrian Grand Prix. “That bodes well for Silverstone as that is a circuit more similar to Barcelona than Austria, so we’re excited for next weekend’s British Grand Prix. We will be aiming to come back stronger.”

If nothing else, the home-race environment should provide an additional boost to the team.

“The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the season. The atmosphere at Silverstone is unique and the support from the fans is truly incredible. It’s also our local race, with the track just down the road from the factories in Brackley and Brixworth,” said Wolff. “It’s a fast and flowing layout which creates great racing, so hopefully we can perform well and put on a good show.”

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