While Mercedes are not getting too carried away, team boss Toto Wolff believes that the next W14 upgrade package for Silverstone can put the team back on that wave of pre-Austrian GP momentum.
The first stage of the Mercedes W14 overhaul, which featured the axing of the unique ‘zero pod’ concept, arrived for the Monaco Grand Prix and triggered much improved performances for the team in the Spanish and Canadian GPs which followed, where Lewis Hamilton claimed a pair of podium finishes.
Austria then came as a real kick in the teeth for Mercedes, who rather than fighting for another podium result, managed only P7 and P8 come the chequered flag.
Can Mercedes get back on track at Silverstone?
Well, that is certainly what the team is hoping for as the next stage of this W14 overhaul is unleashed for the British Grand Prix, Hamilton having already been looking forward to its introduction before the action in Austria was even all said and done.
Wolff did stress that Mercedes were not about to get too confident too soon, but at the same time they see a clear opportunity to “bounce back immediately” and ensure that Austria was nothing more than a blip.
“We’re pleased to get back racing after a bruising weekend in Austria,” said Wolff. “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. We fell on the wrong side of this equation in Spielberg, but we’ve got a chance to bounce back immediately.
“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.
“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.
“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. It’s a fast and flowing layout which creates great racing, so hopefully we can perform well and put on a good show.”
Mercedes saw their advantage in P2 in the Constructors’ Championship over Aston Martin shrink following the Austrian GP, with Aston Martin now only three points behind heading to Silverstone, which is even more a home race to that team than Mercedes, considering they are actually based there.