Mercedes principal Toto Wolff says the team will look to turn their “weaknesses into strengths” after “open discussions” following the German GP.
After a dominant start to the season led many to talk about a possible perfect 21 race wins for Mercedes in 2019, the wheels have ever so slightly begun to come off the Mercedes bandwagon with Max Verstappen claiming victory in two of the last three races.
The German GP was a major low point for Mercedes with Valtteri Bottas crashing out in the race, while Lewis Hamilton delivered a rare error-prone race to finish P11 before he was promoted to P9 following penalties for Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
However, Wolff insists the Silver Arrows are ready to bounce back stronger than ever, starting with the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“We had a painful Sunday in Hockenheim,” said Wolff in Mercedes’ Hungarian GP preview.
“We made mistakes, took the wrong decisions and left Germany with only two points. But we love Formula One for the challenges it throws at us as they present an opportunity to improve.
“On Sunday, we were united in our pain; on Monday, we were united in our determination to turn our weaknesses into strengths.
“We had a number of very open discussions about what went wrong and what steps we need to take to improve.
“I believe that one of the core strengths of our team is the way we handle defeat.
“We accept responsibility for mistakes so that we can learn and improve – and we will come back stronger from this.”
“The positive is that the next race is only a few days away and that we have the chance to redeem ourselves in Budapest this weekend.”
The tight and technical nature of the Hungaroring once upon a time would have caused trouble for the Silver Arrows, but in 2019 slow-speed performance is one of their strongest qualities.
Wolff hopes this will help them fight off Ferrari and Red Bull to follow up on their win here last year.
“In recent years, the Hungaroring has been a challenging circuit for us,” he explained.
“We managed to win there last year and there are a number of reasons to believe our car could be more competitive there this year than in recent seasons.
“Looking at our competition, Ferrari have been very strong on short circuits this year and we expect them to be competitive again in Budapest; Red Bull, too, have won two of the past three races with Max.
“But we haven’t lost sight of the fact that we have come out on top in nine of the 11 races so far this year. And we are determined to fight tooth and nail this weekend to achieve another strong result.”
Hamilton goes into the Hungarian GP with a 41-point advantage over Bottas, while the Silver Arrows are 148 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors’.