Toto Wolff, Team Principal of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, has explained how important reliability is for the team at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, following the problems in the first round of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Wolff disclosed what had happened for the team during the Austrian Grand Prix, saying that the result was good for the team as Valtteri Bottas won the race and Lewis Hamilton came fourth, meaning the team sit top of the Championship table.
“The result of the first race looks good on paper, but the reality is that we were fortunate to finish the race. Reliability caused us real concern and it is something we are working on as our highest priority.
“In a shorter season with a yet to be determined number of races, every point counts, so we need to improve quickly on that front.“
Wolff revealed the problems which the team suffered during the weekend, as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were warned by Chief Strategist James Vowels that the kerbs at the Red Bull Ring were affecting the W11 cars.
“Our main problems were with the electrical components of the gearbox, caused by the aggressive kerbs in Spielberg.
“We first noticed the issue on Friday and immediately started working on mitigations for the next races, both at the factory and at the track. We will run new components this weekend to improve the situation.“
Wolff praised Bottas as for converting his pole position to a win, he also mentioned how Hamilton’s race was slightly disappointing but is sure the World Champion will bounce back this weekend.
“Valtteri showed a strong performance last weekend, controlling the race and staying ahead at the safety car restarts.
“Lewis did a good job fighting through the field and was unfortunate with his five-second penalty; he will use the opportunity to set things straight when we return to the track.”
Wolff also spoke of how it was a different experience to be at the Red Bull Ring for such a length of time.
“I’m looking forward to another race in Austria this weekend. It’s unique to be racing in my home country on consecutive weekends, and a testament to all the hard work that has gone into the new protocols that enable us to go racing.
“The first grand prix of the season was a real nail-biter which delivered to the fans who had to wait so long for F1 to restart.
“With just a few days between the two events, there are still plenty of unknowns – and I think we can expect another exciting race.“