Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “It feels good to head to Hungary with two victories”

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Credit: LAT Images

Toto Wolff says the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team can go into this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix feeling good after two strong performances at the Red Bull Ring, a circuit where they have not enjoyed the best of races in the past.

Valtteri Bottas won the Austrian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton took his first victory of 2020 in the first-ever Styrian Grand Prix seven days later, with the Formula 1 circus now moving to the Hungaroring, the final race of the first triple-header of the year.

Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes, said it was impressive how the team were able to solve the reliability issues that almost cost them dearly in the season opener ahead of the second race, and as a result they can head to Hungary in a positive frame of mind.

“Spielberg didn’t always yield the best results for us in recent years, so it feels good to head to Hungary with two victories and a lot of points,” said Wolff.  “We put a lot of effort into finding reliability solutions between the races and it was an impressive team effort to deliver them in time.

“That was echoed by the strong work from the team at the track, all of which ultimately rewarded us with a 1-2 on Sunday.  Both drivers did a good job last weekend. Lewis’ pole lap in the rain was one of the best I’ve ever seen and his performance in the race was flawless.

“Valtteri had a harder time on Saturday, but his damage limitation on Sunday was successful.”

“It is way too early to make any assumptions”

Wolff says it is too early in the campaign to make any assumptions about where Mercedes are in relation to their rivals, particularly as they have only raced on one circuit to date. 

Heading to the Hungaroring, he is expecting a strong challenge to come from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, who, in the hands of Max Verstappen at least, were the team’s main opposition at the Red Bull Ring in both events there.

“Two wins from two races might sound like the performance picture is clear, but that’s far from the truth,” admits Wolff.  “We’ve only raced on a single track so far and it is way too early to make any assumptions.

“The next race in Hungary will be a different scenario and we’re expecting a challenging fight. The Hungaroring has always suited Red Bull and they’ve shown their strength in the slow corners again this year, so they will be very hard to beat.

“Given the calendar changes this year, the Hungaroring is set to be the highest-downforce track in 2020, so it will be interesting to see whose aero package delivers the most at this track. The first two races this year have been highly entertaining and I’m looking forward to another exciting race weekend to conclude the first triple-header of the year.”

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