Wolff: ‘If we can run low, we can be competitive at Silverstone’
Toto Wolff has predicted the Mercedes W13 to be competitive at Silverstone but only if they are able to “run the car low.”
Mercedes showed an improved performance last time out in Montreal with Lewis Hamilton crossing the line P3 and George Russell a spot behind him in P4 as the team finally looked to have put their porpoising issues behind them.
But, it is not the first time they have thought they had achieved that as following the Spanish Grand Prix, where they were quicker, it was back to square one.
For this reason, team principal Wolff is not declaring Mercedes to be title contenders once more but has suggested they could be competitive at this weekend’s British Grand Prix provided they can keep the ride height low.
“I think if we are able to run the car low, then we can be competitive,” he told Sky Sports F1. “But you know, after Barcelona, we were cheering that we’re back in a Championship fight and here we go. So let’s see.”
Wolff was also asked if he believed Hamilton needed to use his home race as a change to get the smile back on his face considering the tumultuous season he has had to endure so far but the Austrian insisted the seven-time World Champion’s morale had always been high.
Can Hamilton or Russell delight their home crowd?
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be hoping their Mercedes can give them enough to provide them with a strong result at their home British GP this weekend.
“I can say that within the team, he was always very positive in the mindset,” Wolff said. “How the two [Russell and Hamilton] work together is really astonishing. In the briefings, they keep asking each other questions so I guess it’s gonna be different if you’re race at the very front but it’s super how the two have really had to progress.
“I’m happy for Lewis because he had the bad luck on his side. He could have been on the podium few times if the Safety Car wouldn’t have worked against him.”
Damon Hill though has doubted Mercedes’ speed compared to frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari and said they are still some way off the pace.
“I think if you actually look at the race pace, there’s still a bit of a way off,” Hill told Sky Sports News.
“I mean, they sometimes show pace in the race, but then you don’t know how much faster Max could go if he had to, and typically, they tend to try and manage their tyres. They don’t burn out the car as fast as they can if they don’t have to.
“So I would say that Mercedes still have a chunk of time to find to be serious contenders, but clearly, [we have] a very happy Lewis Hamilton putting on a brave face [after Canada] in what is a very difficult year after losing out on a possible eighth title last year.”