Toto Wolff admits the performance in the Canadian Grand Prix was not what the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport were hoping for, with Sebastian Vettel’s victory meaning Lewis Hamilton lost the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton was left to finish down in fifth at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and although Valtteri Bottas claimed a spot on the podium by finishing second, Wolff said it was not the kind of weekend Mercedes were expecting to have on a track they were traditionally strong at.
“The weekend in Canada didn’t meet our expectations,” said Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “In the past, Montreal was a track where we were fighting for the win, but this year we lacked the performance on Saturday and Sunday.
“We analysed the weekend and understand why we didn’t do better, but that doesn’t change the fact that we left points on the table.”
Wolff says the team has the ability to put the disappointing performance from Montreal behind them and fight back in what is turning out to be an exciting championship at the front of the field where Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing after fighting for victories.
“This season’s battle is intense and we need to be on top of our game every weekend to win races and to fight for this championship,” he added. “We are facing an exciting challenge this year and we will give it everything.
“This team has shown in the past that it is capable of overcoming obstacles and we are working hard to overcome this one as well.”
Looking ahead to this weekends French Grand Prix, Wolff says it should be an interesting event as none of the teams have any kind of data to work with, thanks to it being the first race to be held at the Circuit Paul Ricard since 1990.
It also marks the first race of the first ever triple header in Formula 1 history, with the race in France being followed by races in Austria and Great Britain, and Wolff says Mercedes will be looking to maximise their results in that time.
“France should be an interesting race,” said Wolff. “We don’t often get to race on a track where we have little to no historical data. It makes preparing for the weekend a bit trickier than usual, but that element of the unknown also adds to the challenge.
“The French Grand Prix marks the first race of the triple header, which will test all F1 teams to their limits, but also offers the chance to score a lot of points over the course of three weeks – which is precisely what we’re setting out to do.”