Toto Wolff says that Mercedes aren’t capable of being at the “very front” of the grid this race weekend at what he calls one of their worst tracks.
The Silver Arrows headed into the weekend expecting to struggle at a track they’ve rarely mastered but took solace in the fact that they topped FP1.
“Not good enough. We know this is a difficult track for us. We are just lacking the performance,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s one of our worst tracks. We had cold graining here last year and we are lacking real power this year in comparison to the others.”
Tyre degradation has been extremely high all weekend so far and is something that looks set to be a real issue for every team on the grid.
“I think it’s about surviving with the tyres and making it to the end,” the Mercedes team principal added.
“The ones that are at the front are going to be holding back I guess, just to make sure they don’t have another stop.
“We knew [it would be tough to clinch it here]. I think we need to give a car that is reliable, that is the most important, and then fight it out on track.
“I don’t think we have a good enough package this weekend to be at the very front, from a pure pace standpoint. But let’s see. If we do it in Austin, we do it in Austin.”
The German team have already secured the Constructors Championship and are guaranteed to take the Driver’s Championship too, with LewisHamilton needing to out-score team-mate Bottas by 14 points to secure it this weekend.
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