Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff says his Formula 1 team will not jeopardize its longer-term chances with an all-out bid for the 2013 championship.
Lewis Hamilton’s Hungarian Grand Prix win — Mercedes’ third triumph of the season — brought him up to fourth in the drivers’ standings, 48 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel. Mercedes is now second in the constructors’, 69 points behind Red Bull.
The team has proved the quickest over a single lap this year, taking seven poles in 10 rounds, and after earlier tire difficulties, its wins in Britain and Hungary suggested it could now reliably convert that raw speed into race pace. But Wolff wants Mercedes to focus on making sure it can produce such form consistently rather than getting too fixated on closing the points gap.
“If half a year ago we would have talked about championship opportunities in the drivers’ or constructors’ championship it would have been absolutely crazy,” he said. “If you look at our competitors, they have been able to perform at the top in a sustainable way. That is what we need to achieve — consolidation should be the agenda for the second half of the year, not looking at the championships.”
Wolff was also cautious about the Hungarian result, saying it was too soon to regard the win in hot conditions as a turning point in Mercedes’ tire issues.
“We cannot be confident; it would be the wrong approach to say we have found the golden key now,” he said. “It is about consolidating and analyzing, trying to translate it into the coming circuits in terms of the circuit itself, track surface, track temperatures, energy of the corners. Every track is different.
“We have to keep our head down and consolidate the win, and try to turn it into performance on the track.”