Whilst Mercedes are now on top of their cooling issues, Toto Wolff now has concerns over grip level and Ferrari’s pace through the corners.
The first two practice sessions ahead of the German Grand Prix provided yet more evidence of Ferrari’s superior straight-line speed advantage, while Mercedes’ main strengths lie in the more technical sector of the track.
Blistering hot temperatures raised more concerns about Mercedes’ performance given their struggles in similar conditions back in Austria but, whilst Wolff thinks that particular issue has been solved, he has now highlighted a potential problem with grip level due to the track overheating.
“In terms of engine cooling, we’re in a good space. It was not a problem anymore. Or, better space,” Wolff told Sky Sports after FP2 at the Hockenheimring.
“I think it is the grip level. We have seen the Ferraris going very strong through the corners today, and that should have been us in the past. But, I think we are limited by surface overheating.
“It is so hot, that all teams are plateauing on the grip level. You overheat the surface at a certain stage and you can’t really extract downforce anymore.”
Lewis Hamilton was just a tenth down on FP2 leader Charles Leclerc as Ferrari recorded back-to-back 1-2 finishes in the Friday practice sessions.
More encouraging signs for Mercedes appear to be in the weather forecast, which is predicting rain showers and cooler temperatures over the rest of the weekend.
Mercedes have also brought aerodynamic upgrades with them to Germany, but Wolff was quick to play the effect of those down.
“I think everyone brought an upgrade,” he added.
“Some are advertising them more than others. But, you need to think that everyone has brought it.”
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