Toto Wolff has confirmed Mercedes will take an “aggressive” approach to the Turkish Grand Prix – but avoided the subject of engine penalties.
The word “aggressive” was used by the Mercedes team principal after the last race in Russia, with reference to how they are tackling their World Championship fight with Red Bull.
Mercedes are 33 points ahead in the Constructors’ standings, but Lewis Hamilton is only two clear of Max Verstappen in the individual battle – and the Briton has a potential engine penalty hanging over him.
The likelihood appears that Hamilton will need a fourth new power unit at some point in the next few races, exceeding the maximum of three that can be taken during a season without incurring a penalty.
Verstappen did just that at Sochi last time out, starting from the back of the grid but still coming through to finish second to Hamilton after Red Bull timed their pit-stop perfectly when a rain shower arrived late in the race.
Wolff said earlier in the week it was “a possibility” Hamilton may need a fourth engine at Istanbul Park, but in his race preview for round 16 of the campaign he preferred to focus on that aforementioned aggressive approach – whether or not that includes getting the penalty out of the way.
Istanbul memories. ❤️ Can't wait to be back in Turkey this weekend. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/PTjz0I5pT0
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 5, 2021
“There’s been a brilliant buzz in the team over the last week or so. Being back on the top step of the podium was an incredible feeling for all of us, and particularly after such a dramatic race weekend,” said Wolff of Hamilton’s triumph in Russia.
“It was obviously made even more special by being Lewis’ 100th race win in Formula 1. In the moment, milestones like this are exceptional, but I think it will take time for us to all realise just how remarkable this period of time is, and how privileged we all are to be part of this journey with him.
“The final moments of the last race in Russia proved anything can happen in F1 and fortunes can change in the blink of an eye.
“This season is keeping all of us on our toes and that’s something we are enjoying immensely, but it also means we have to be aggressive with our approach to the season in order to maximise the points available.
“That’s our focus for Turkey and beyond. I know Lewis, Valtteri [Bottas] and the entire team are fired up for the battle that lies ahead, and we look set for another exciting race this weekend at Istanbul Park where there are still many unknowns for us because of the track surface and weather conditions in 2020.
“It’s an exciting track layout and a good one for racing, so I think we will be in for another spectacular twist in this brilliant F1 season.”