Japanese Grand Prix – Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff says his team will have updates for their W10 this weekend, in response to Ferrari’s form.
Mercedes head to Japan this weekend on the back of a 1-2 finish with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas last time out in Russia. However, it was a pretty circumstantial win, coming about as Ferrari’s race fell apart through a mechanical failure and resultant unfortunately timed Virtual Safety Car.
Ferrari’s form since the summer break has been sufficient to mark them as possibly the fastest car in Formula 1 right now, although the Suzuka circuit will be the biggest test of that due to its fast, flowing corners. Ferrari’s strength has been in straight lines and low-speed traction zones recently, but their ability to quickly change direction is still largely untested.
In a bid to make sure Ferrari don’t seize the initiative for the remainder of the season, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff spoke about the Russian Grand Prix and says the W10 will have updates fitted this weekend: “Claiming a 1-2 in Sochi after three races without a win was a great feeling. We delivered a strong race in Russia, made the most of our opportunities and both Lewis and Valtteri drove flawlessly. We brought home 44 points, built the gap in both championships and are highly motivated to keep our foot on the throttle for the remaining five races.”
“However, the win in Sochi doesn’t change the fact that Ferrari had a stronger start to the second part of the season than we did. We’ll bring some minor upgrades to the car in Japan which will hopefully help us take a step in the right direction; however, we know that we need to extract absolutely everything from our car and the tyres if we want to be able to challenge for a win.”
“We have a strong track record at Suzuka, having won every Japanese Grand Prix in the hybrid era, but we expect this year to be challenging given the strength of our opponents. It will be a very close battle on track – and one that we very much look forward to. Our targets for the final quarter of the season is clear and it’s up to us to make sure we achieve them.”