After an extremely complicated start to the season, Mercedes F1 was rewarded for all its efforts of the year by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend, where it was superior to Ferrari but also to Red Bull.
Absent at Interlagos, Toto Wolff of course followed the race of his team and his drivers and was happy to witness the first victory of George Russell, who was closely followed by his teammate Lewis Hamilton on the finish line.
The Austrian leader is thus delighted that Mercedes F1 has finally won a victory in 2022, but he admits that the team itself does not know exactly why it dominated its subject so much in Brazil. He is also pessimistic for Abu Dhabi.
“I think this performance is due to all the evolutions that have been brought to the car, but also to the good work that has been done on the power unit side, we have achieved this all together,” Wolff said.
“We’ve been on a very positive trend for three races, but does that mean we’re the dominant team again? No, it’s not.
“It should be much more difficult for us in Abu Dhabi, because we have too much aerodynamic drag and we know why. In fact, we know why we are better. But do we know why we were so far ahead of everyone this weekend? ? Nope.”
“We never stopped believing in it”
While waiting for Mercedes F1 to analyze the performance of its W13 in Brazil, Toto Wolff thinks back to the path traveled this year. Porpoising, lack of performance, the road has been long but real progress, hence the particular flavor of the reward.
“There were times when we thought we understood why and where we had our setbacks, then of course there were also weekends like Spa. But the team never stopped believing that we were on the right path while accepting not always to understand everything.”
“It demonstrates the values and the state of mind that drive us and I am very proud of what we have achieved. Proud of the organization we have built, of all the people who bring it to life and who have enabled us to win this weekend.”
The zero deposit policy has proven itself
Mercedes F1 has resisted the urge to demand that its drivers stay in one place after the safety car. Instead, Russell was told the pair were free to race but simply to do so with respect for each other.
“I think as a team we have always stood for free racing and we have never done otherwise unless one driver is mathematically no longer in contention for the championship and the other is.
“We were looking forward to them racing with the same tire and we had discussed it before the race in the strategy meeting. This situation finally came to pass and we saw that it went well. there was no wheel-to-wheel battle but no rider got out because of this end-of-race battle.”