Wolff: There’s still a lot of the game left to play

Wolff: There's still a lot of the game left to play

Toto Wolff is confident that Mercedes still have “a lot of game to play” ahead of this week’s Spanish Grand Prix, provided they can improve their car.

The eight-time Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions head to Barcelona after another weekend of damage limitation in Miami where they finished fifth and sixth with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

Speaking in Mercedes race preview, Wolff began by evaluating the team’s weekend stateside saying: “With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami.

“Considering George’s start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed,” he added.

“But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race. I’ve no doubt that over the course of the season, a little luck will eventually go his way.”

Mercedes had a decent start for the Miami event with Russell even toping the times in FP2, but as the weekend progressed, they were relegated back to their usual position.

“During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential,” Wolff pointed out. “We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components and that’s provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in.

Mercedes preparing hard for Barcelona

“A huge amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona,” the Austrian revealed.

“Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car and we’re hopeful that we’ll make another step forward,” he explained.

“The track itself is a good all-rounder, so it really puts every aspect of the car to the test,” Wolff said of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. “It’s never been a great track for overtaking so it’ll be interesting to see how these new-shape 2022 F1 cars impact the on-track spectacle in Spain.”

Wolff took to basketball to express his belief that all is not lost for Mercedes, as F1 gears up for its sixth race of the 2022 season.

“In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game,” he said. “We know that once we translate the learnings we’ve made into track performance, there’s still a lot of the game left to play.”

Mercedes head to the Spanish Grand Prix third in the Constructors’ Standings, with Russell sitting fourth in the Drivers’ Championship compared to sixth for Lewis Hamilton.