user icon
user icon

Wolff cautious over Mercedes' Japan prospects

  • Published on 04 Oct 2017 10:55
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Toto Wolff is not willing to admit that Mercedes are favourites to take victory at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. In the last two races at Singapore and Malaysia, the Silver Arrows has struggled for pace, causing the team to become worried about the slump.

While it was expected that the Singapore circuit wouldn't suit the Mercedes package, the lack of speed at Malaysia caught the team by surprise. Red Bull's Max Verstappen managed to go on and claim his second career victory. With Ferrari incurring problems during qualifying and the race, Mercedes managed to increase its lead in the standings despite having arguably the third quickest car.

"In sport, it's in the tough times that you really see the strength of a team. Our championships in the past three years have come because we have never taken success for granted and, even in the good times, we were able to put our finger in the wound and work on our weaknesses. After Malaysia, we have found ourselves doing the same: analysing our problems, beginning to understand their causes and working on solutions. 

"Lewis has made the most of every opportunity in recent weeks; he has been in fantastic form, particularly since the summer break, and is driving with a perfect balance of aggression right now. It has been a more challenging picture for Valtteri and it is a priority for us to give him the car he needs to perform - and to help him extract everything from it. It is not an easy time right now but this is the time for his strength of character, work ethic and natural talent to shine through."

The sixteenth round of the 2017 championship takes place this weekend at Japan, a track that Mercedes has dominated in the hybrid era. Since 2014, the Silver Arrows has won every race at Suzuka, while also locking out the front row on each occasion.

However, Wolff has stated that former success doesn't guarantee future results: "The next challenge comes in the form of Suzuka, a circuit which will ask very different questions of our car than Sepang. In the last years, we have performed very strongly there.

"But recent weeks have reminded us that historic form counts for little with these 2017 cars and tyres. It is a circuit which rewards Grand Prix cars and drivers performing at their very best - and we expect a very close fight between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull. As a team, our targets for the final quarter of the season are very clear. It is entirely in our hands to make sure we achieve them."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (0)

Login to reply

GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

Related news

Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

World Championship standings 2020

Show full world champion standings

Driver profile

  • Team Red Bull Racing
  • Points 1,025
  • Podiums 35
  • Grand Prix 107
  • Country NL
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (22)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), NL
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
3 - Jul 5
Austria
10 - Jul 12
Austria
17 - Jul 19
Hungary
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom
14 - Aug 16
Spain
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
11 - Sep 13
Italy
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Germany
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
10 - Jul 12
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
Hungary Hungaroring
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom Silverstone
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom Silverstone
14 - Aug 16
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
11 - Sep 13
Italy Mugello
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
Germany Nurburgring
See full schedule
show sidebar