The Mercedes-AMG F1 team go into the third round of the 2014 Formula One World Championship with a win a piece for Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. The team currently sit on top of both the drivers’ championship, with Rosberg, and the constructors’ championship.
But the team know the season is long, and Toto Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, knows they cannot relax.
“We can be very proud of our achievements last week in Malaysia but there is no room for complacency,” insisted Wolff. “After two races we are leading both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, but the most important thing to take from that is that it has only been two races.
“We are in the very early stages of what will be a demanding year for everybody and we have seen already that fortunes can change very quickly. We approach Bahrain with the same mentality as we have approached every challenge so far this season: in the knowledge that nothing must be taken for granted.”
Technical Executive Director Paddy Lowe echoed Wolff’s sentiments, saying that while the Malaysian 1-2 finish last weekend was satisfactory, Mercedes will not stop working hard to stay ahead of the chasing pack.
“Malaysia produced a highly satisfying result for the factories at both Brackley and Brixworth, with a historic one-two finish for the team complemented by Mercedes-Benz powered cars occupying seven of the top 10 positions,” said Lowe. “This is down to the hard work and dedication of a fantastic group of people and is very much deserved. Having said that, it is essential that we do not relent in our efforts.
With every team having run at the circuit during the winter, Bahrain can be seen as a benchmark in terms of competitiveness at this early stage of the season. The combination of heavy traction demands and variable grip levels are a challenge for both car and driver, while the long straights reward strong performance from the Power Unit. We expect a tight battle throughout the field this weekend and it will be interesting to see how far the cars have come over the past few weeks since our last visit.”
Lewis Hamilton comes into Bahrain having dominated the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend, topping qualifying, winning the race and taking fastest lap in the process. He has never won in Bahrain however, and he has aims for that statistic to change. He had never won in Malaysia either before last weekend…
“It was great to kick-start my season with a win in Malaysia,” said Hamilton. “Taking a one-two was also a fantastic result for the team and I can’t wait to see what we can do in Bahrain. I’ve finished on the podium here a couple of times here but, for one reason or another, I’ve never managed to get the win. Until last week it was the same story for me with Malaysia, so fingers crossed this can be the year of breaking those cycles!
“Malaysia was a really busy event for the team and we have a test coming up straight after this weekend’s race, so it would be great to give the crew another good result to head home with after a long road trip. We know it’s going to be tough to maintain our current form, particularly at a circuit where every team has had so much running time over the winter, but I’ll be pushing hard to keep those results coming.”
Team-mate Nico Rosberg finished second in Malaysia after starting third, and will be hoping to continue his early season run of podiums after winning the opening round in Australia.
“The first two races have been a great start to my season and I’m already looking forward to being back in the car and carrying on that momentum in Bahrain,” said Rosberg, who leads the championship by 18 points from Hamilton. “It’s a great track and I really enjoy driving it. I’ve never had much luck on race weekends here, but it’s definitely the one I’m best prepared for this year.
“I came to Bahrain for the Pirelli tyre test back in December and during winter testing a few weeks ago. Of course, it’s the same situation for most teams and drivers so we could see some close battles throughout the weekend. We may be leading both Championships at the moment but our rivals are breathing down our necks, so we need to stay focused and keep doing our job calmly and professionally.”