Wolff: We debriefed France and understand where to improve

2021 French Grand Prix, Sunday - Wolfgang Wilhelm Wolff

After a strong start to the season things have begun to unravel for Mercedes over the last few races, but Toto Wolff is remaining calm ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend.

The team looked to be second best to Red Bull all weekend, with Max Verstappen taking a fairly dominant pole and then winning the race, despite making a mistake on the opening lap and giving up the lead to Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen has now extended his lead at the top of the championship to 12 points, while Valtteri Bottas is languishing in fifth after a very difficult start to the year.

However, Wolff explained that there were plenty of positives to take away from France and insisted that there is plenty of time left in the season to turn things around.

“After the disappointment of missing the win had faded, there were plenty of positives to take from France,” he said. “We scored a good haul of points with P2 and P4 and the pace of the car was an encouraging step forward compared to Monaco and Baku, thanks to the hard work of our team members at the factories and at the track.

“But while we know there is still a long way to go and plenty more opportunities to come, in a season like this, every single point will matter and make the difference. And we’ve left points on the table at the last few races.”

Bottas questioned Mercedes’ decision to opt for the one-stop strategy with both him and Hamilton, and Wolff said that the team know how they need to improve on arrival at the Red Bull Ring this weekend.

“We’ve debriefed France and understand the areas where we have the opportunity to improve.” he added.

“So, now it’s all about focusing on bringing those improvements to the next two rounds in Austria, where hopefully we can swing the positive momentum back in our favour. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for our next chance to try and do that and I can see the determination in every member of the team.

“Austria has been a tricky circuit for us in past seasons, but we went well there last year. We know the situation is very different this season, though. It’s a very quick lap and a short circuit, with fewer opportunities to gain time. The margins are going to be tight, so we’ll give it maximum attack.”

FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix gets underway at 11:30 local time on Friday.