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Mercedes aiming for another competitive showing in Suzuka

Mercedes aiming for another competitive showing in Suzuka

Mercedes aiming for another competitive showing in Suzuka

Mercedes were probably the fastest race car in Singapore, and while they couldn’t win the race, the eight-time Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions are targeting a strong showing in Suzuka for this weekend’s 2023 Japanese Grand Prix.

While Ferrari bagged pole with Carlos Sainz, both Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell kept the #55 SF-23 honest throughout the 62-lap-race under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Circuits.

But while Ferrari had the advantage of track position, Mercedes took a risk pitting their drivers under the Virtual Safety Car for fresh Medium tyres in a bid to attack Sainz who was on aging Hards.

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But a brilliant drive from Sainz, coupled with an error by Russell who crashed on the final lap, meant Mercedes had to settle for third with Hamilton, as Ferrari edged closer to Mercedes’ second place in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Championship, only 24 points behind now.

Reflecting on Singapore, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: “It was a thrilling Sunday night in Singapore. Although the result wasn’t quite what we were hoping for, there are plenty of positives we can take away.

“We were bold and aggressive with our strategy calls. The pace of the car all weekend was strong. We executed well as a team and gave it a real shot for victory as the racers we are.

“It was a great drive to the podium from Lewis,” he pointed out. “He showed impressive pace throughout the race, especially the final stint. P3 was a deserved reward for his efforts. For George, he’d performed faultlessly all weekend. He was giving it absolutely everything in the search for victory.

Trying to carry the performance into Suzuka

“That’s absolutely what we want to see. It was a small mistake on the final lap and that will make it even more painful for him. I know he will bounce back strongly,” the Austrian maintained.

Looking ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend at Suzuka, Wolff said in Mercedes‘ race preview: “We have another race in just a few days’ time.

“Japan is always a unique event with very passionate fans. The track is incredibly challenging, and the drivers love racing on it. The margins were so close in Singapore, so we’ll be aiming for another competitive showing in Suzuka.

“We lost some ground in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari at the last race,” he pointed out. “We are looking forwards not back, though.

“Our focus is on maximising the package we have and scoring as many points as possible. If we do so, I’m confident we can extend our advantage,” Wolff concluded.