Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has revealed where Abu Dhabi lies on his team’s “table of doom” as the Brackley squad bid to topple Ferrari from P2.
Mercedes trail Ferrari by 19 points heading into the season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit, the last chance the team have of overtaking the Scuderia for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
While Mercedes started the season way off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull, the Silver Arrows have slowly and diligently progressed through the season and having become a threat at the front in recent races, won their first grand prix of the season in Brazil.
While Mercedes will need some luck to go their way if they are to outscore Ferrari by at least 20 points in Abu Dhabi, Wolff said it is difficult to predict just how the W13 will slot into the pecking order once qualifying begins.
“So we have this internal table of doom, which kind of forecasts whether we are good at the track or not in terms of our simulations,” he told media, including PlanetF1, on Saturday.
“Mexico was, we thought, the best track in the season. And we were performing well. Brazil was right there, like with Austin, but came in better than we thought.
“Abu Dhabi, in the table of doom, is pretty much in the middle. It’s not Spa or Monza. So if we correlate with the table of doom, it means we understand where we are going to.
“If we outperform the table of doom I’m obviously happy, but also questioning what happened to getting it right with our forecasts. So the truth is, I don’t know where we are lacking – straight-line speed, particularly against the Red Bull when they turn on the engine.
“But I would never say we are not in the mix but rationally, probably not right there.”
Mercedes’ 1-2 finish in Brazil resulted in them outscoring Ferrari by 17 points – which means an even bigger ask is required this weekend if the team are to take away the runner-up slot from the Scuderia.
Having overcome such a large deficit over the course of the season, Wolff was asked where he feels Mercedes are as the championship comes to an end.
“I think we are back in the mix. That was important,” he said.
“If you ask me the pecking order today, I would still say Red Bull overall as a package is the most competitive. I think Ferrari is a tremendously quick car on a lap and, on several of the weekends, was also the quickest package.
“We have been able to perform well on the tracks that were in the sweet spot of the DNA of the car. That was mostly high downforce – Mexico and Brazil – we are not very competitive when it’s fast. Straight line, we have a little bit of a draggy car.
“So the pecking order is still third, I think I can say that, but we are very close and on our day at the right race track we can win, and that’s most important.”