Mercedes preview Austrian Grand Prix weekend

Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton

Round Eight of the 2014 Formula One World Championship brings us to Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix;

Lewis Hamilton: “Montreal was a bit of a strange one for me. I felt I had the pace right from the beginning of the weekend, but things just never quite came together. It’s frustrating when these things are out of your hands. The two DNF’s so far this season have not been ideal but that’s racing and there’s a long, long way to go. I caught up before and I can catch up again. It’s going to take another four wins to make the difference so I’m going to do my best to get those results. Right now, I’m just looking ahead to the next race in Austria and another chance to catch up to the lead. I’ve never driven the circuit but I’ve been working on it in the simulator and I’m sure I’ll learn it pretty quickly when we get out on track. It’s always exciting to go to a new venue, so it should be an interesting weekend. I’m feeling good in the car right now and I’ll be pushing flat out to come away with maximum points this time around.”

Nico Rosberg: “Although it was a really, really tough day, I’m pleased with the result in Montreal. The car was strong throughout the weekend, so to have the problems we experienced in the race was not what we expected. It just goes to show that you can never be too well prepared and our priority has been to make sure the car is bullet-proof for the rest of the season. When you take everything into account, finishing second in that race was quite an achievement for everyone in the team. But we know we cannot afford to slip up, as our rivals are always there to take advantage. I’m looking forward to the next race in Austria and a chance to get back to our winning form once again. Although I’ve driven the circuit before, that was more than ten years ago, in F3: back when it was still called the A1 Ring! Of course, it will be very different in a Turbocharged, V6 Hybrid Formula One car, so it’s basically like starting from scratch for everyone on the grid. Personally, I love that kind of challenge, so I’m excited to get back in the car and go for another top result.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Canada was a weekend of mixed emotions. On the one side, we had strong pace throughout the weekend. On the other, a small glitch in what has been an extremely reliable package so far this season proved to be extremely detrimental when it really counted on Sunday. It’s something we immediately moved to analyse, understand and rectify to make sure that it does not happen again. Nico drove a fantastic race to maintain second position, while it was just a case of extremely bad luck for Lewis who was forced to retire. Obviously, Nico now holds an increased gap at the top of the Championship, but Lewis is a fighter and I have no doubt that he will come back stronger than ever. There is still a long way to go with twelve races remaining – thirteen if you count the double points round – so his challenge is far from over. This race shows how quickly things can change – not just between drivers, but between teams also – so we will be pushing harder than ever to ensure that we do not give away any more valuable points to our rivals.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “The performance of the car in Canada was once again very strong. Unfortunately, we were unable to fully capitalise on that performance in the race. We saw an extraordinary drive from Nico to salvage second place with malfunctioning machinery, but it was extremely unfortunate for Lewis that we were unable to manage the failure on his car to the same extent. This has once again created a sizeable points deficit for Lewis through no fault of his own. But, of course, we are doing our utmost to give both drivers the opportunity to compete for the Championship on equal terms. We put a significant amount of effort into understanding the problem that occurred in Canada and ensuring that there will be no repeat in Austria. We’re excited by the prospect of a return to Spielberg after many years away and hoping for a return to form results-wise. It’s a short circuit with a lot of braking and high fuel consumption, so it will be another challenging race. The venue is also at high altitude which, owing to the low atmospheric pressure, places a different kind of duty on the Power Unit to what we’ve seen so far. It will be interesting to see how well both we and the competition respond to that.”