The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team head into this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with an opportunity to secure a record-breaking seventh consecutive World Constructors’ Championship, but Toto Wolff says they will be focused on the weekend rather than going for the title.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and the Team Principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, says there are many unknowns for the team this weekend, as they have not competed there since they made their return to the sport.
Just a week after Lewis Hamilton took a record-breaking ninety-second career victory in Portugal, Formula 1 heads to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the first time since 2006 this weekend and with a reduced two-day schedule. And Wolff says this will be an additional challenge to the team as they bid to secure an eleventh victory in thirteen races in 2020.
“It was remarkable to see Lewis achieve his 92nd F1 win,” said Wolff. “It’s like Michael [Schumacher] often said: Records are there to be broken. We’re witnessing the amazing journey of one of the greatest athletes of our time and I’m excited to see where else it will take Lewis.
“We showed good pace in Portimão once we got the tyres into their window and left Portugal with the maximum number of points, building the gap in both championships on the way to our ultimate goal this year.
“Now our focus moves onto Imola, which is another F1 venue that we haven’t visited for a long time. It’s a track with lots of history but one that the Mercedes works team has never raced on before, so there are quite a few unknowns heading into the race weekend, and it’s great to be back in Italy once again for our third different race there this season.
“We’ll also be experiencing an unfamiliar schedule, with no running on Friday and just one practice session on Saturday morning. We had an unexpected preview of what this would be like at the Nürburgring after Friday’s running was cancelled because of the rain.
“We can expect a busy practice session where teams will try to maximise their running on track to prepare in the best way possible for Qualifying and the race; achieving the fastest possible rate of learning will be important to maximise our competitiveness for qualifying and the race.
“We’ve seen exciting races on the new tracks this year and the shorter weekend format will spice things up even more, so fans have an interesting weekend to look forward to.”
How Mercedes Can Win the Constructors’ Championship at Imola
To deny Mercedes from winning the Constructors’ crown this weekend, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team need to outscore the pairing of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas by at least thirty-four points to take the battle onwards to the Turkish Grand Prix next month.
To put this into perspective, the last time Red Bull achieved this was back in 2016, when Max Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix after Hamilton and his then team-mate Nico Rosberg crashed out on lap one. So, the omens aren’t great for Red Bull – and Mercedes only need one of its drivers to finish fourth or better for the title to go to them!