Why Toto Wolff is hopeful of strong Mercedes showing in Singapore

Thomas Maher
Singapore: Lewis Hamilton drives his Mercedes W13 across the start/finish line at Marina Bay.

Singapore: Lewis Hamilton drives his Mercedes W13 across the start/finish line at Marina Bay.

Having not been in contention for podium places last time out at Monza, Toto Wolff reckons the W14 will be a different beast on the streets of Singapore.

On the high-speed straights of Monza, Mercedes were left to watch on from a distance as Ferrari and Red Bull battled for the win and the remaining podium places.

George Russell would come home as the highest-placed Mercedes driver, finishing fifth and over 20 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen, with Lewis Hamilton a further 20 seconds behind in sixth after starting the race on the hard compound Pirellis.

Toto Wolff: Encouraging to see W14 performing well at variety of track

While the W14 may not have been an outright contender in Italy, the race at Monza continued the usual pattern in 2023 of a different team slotting in behind leaders Red Bull, with Mercedes still picking up plenty of points to consolidate their position in second place overall.

Speaking ahead of the weekend in Singapore, team boss Toto Wolff outlined why he reckons the Marina Bay event might be kinder to his squad than Monza had been.

“We maximised the result in Monza with the package we had,” he said.

“That will be important across the rest of the season to secure second in the Constructors’. At a circuit that didn’t necessarily suit the characteristics of our car, we were still competitive. It’s encouraging to see that the W14 is performing well across a range of tracks. We’ve had some time to debrief an intense double header and we’re now heading into another one.

“Singapore is a unique challenge for every team. The hot and humid conditions are tough on the drivers, team members, and the cars. It’s a bumpy track and there are some changes to the layout for this year, too. It should make the lap more flowing and slightly kinder on the tyres.

“The battle with our nearest competitors is incredibly close. It’s hard to predict just how the order will shake out each weekend. Nonetheless, we typically perform better on high downforce tracks, so we’re hopeful of a competitive showing.”

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Toto Wolff: Mercedes doing ‘best possible job’ with less competitive machine

But as for trying to predict where Mercedes may slot into the pecking order at Marina Bay, the Austrian was reluctant to hazard a guess.

“This last year, I’ve been careful in my predictions, because I could be saying now ‘High downforce, hooray’, we’re going to be right behind Red Bull next weekend,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.

“But you don’t know. That is the truth.

“The teams that are from second to sixth can be pretty close together. One time it’s us and then it’s Ferrari, and then it’s McLaren. Then it’s Aston Martin.

“But we are consistently scoring with two cars, we’re a solid second in the Constructors’ Championship, hopefully soon third in the Drivers’ Championship with Lewis.

“I think we are delivering the best possible job, considering their car’s lack of performance.”

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