Wolff: I still have trauma from Montreal

Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff

Mercedes head to Silverstone still seeking to shake off the ‘trauma’ of a second place in Canada, despite coming back with a convincing 1-2 at the Austrian Grand Prix, Team Chief Toto Wolff said.

The British Grand Prix in two weeks time will be a home race for Lewis Hamilton, who won in 2008 for McLaren. The track looks to have everything Mercedes need to secure their eighth win in nine races this season.

But Wolff has warned against making hasty predictions after poor experiences in Belgium, Italy and most recently in Canada, where Mercedes were relegated to second place for the first and only time this season, while Hamilton failed to finish.

“I remember exactly, and I have a trauma from that, when we came to Spa last year, all the calculations we had said ‘this is the best ever track for us’ and then we found out that we were losing lots of speed,” Wolff said.

“Then we said ‘OK let’s go to Monza, we’re going to blow them away with our power in Monza [but] we weren’t competitive.

Lewis Hamilton in Canada

Lewis Hamilton in Canada

“Montreal was again one of those tracks where we said ‘that’s going to be our track’. Oops, here we go, not finishing the race with one car.

“So in theory, Silverstone looks to be easier for us on the brakes and on the energy recovery and the cooling on the energy recovery, than Austria. But I think we have to go there and then see what happens.”

At the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday, Mercedes topped the podium again with championship leader Nico Rosberg and Hamilton handing the team their sixth 1-2 finish this year.

Mercedes now stand at 301 points in the constructors’ standings, far ahead of Red Bull with 143 points.

Wolff however reminded his drivers and their teams to keep working together, as the two rivals battle it out for the drivers’ championship.

With his win on Sunday, Rosberg extended his lead on Hamilton to 29 points.

Mercedes bounced back with a 1-2 in Austria

Mercedes bounced back with a 1-2 in Austria

“We see that it’s getting very competitive, that transparency is suffering a little bit and we need to make sure that this is not detrimental to the team,” Wolff told journalists.

After dominating the first day of practice in Austria, Mercedes got pipped to pole position by Williams, with Hamilton starting back in ninth place. Rosberg later hinted that his teammate had cost him the pole.

“After the Third Practice, we weren’t in good shape and the atmosphere wasn’t like in the races before,” Wolff said. We need the knowledge of the whole group, we need the whole group working together, and that’s not only the drivers, it’s also the engineers on both sides of the garage.

“This is the spirit we want to maintain, it’s not about winning the next couple of races, but hopefully staying competitive the next couple of years. Therefore every race we need to learn, and we can only learn if we have an open and transparent way of working with each other,” he said, vowing to keep an eye on his drivers. (AFP)