Mercedes scrambling to maintain advantage after summer break

Image by Etherington/LAT

Mercedes scrambling to maintain advantage after summer break

Formula 1

Mercedes scrambling to maintain advantage after summer break


Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says his team will be working flat-out to find performance improvements for after the summer break despite leading both championships.

Back-to-back wins for Lewis Hamilton in Germany and Budapest have allowed the defending champion to open up a 24-point advantage in the drivers’ championship, while Mercedes leads the constructors’ standings by ten points. While Wolff is enjoying the unpredictability of the current campaign – having not expected to win in Budapest and seeing Hamilton recover from 14th on the grid in Germany – he says Mercedes needs to find more performance when racing resumes at Spa-Francorchamps at the end of August.

“The battle at the top is more exciting than ever before, and things are also very tight in the midfield,” Wolff said. “The races have not only produced some great wheel-to-wheel action on the track, but also some surprise winners: seven of the 12 races so far were not necessarily won by the fastest car.

“All in all, I would say that the 2018 season has been a marvelous advertisement for the sport. For us as a team, the half-term report is a positive one, as we are currently leading both world championships. We owe this to the efforts of our team in Brackley and Brixworth and to the driving skills of Lewis and Valtteri.

“At the same time, though, we also realize that we have dropped points in more than one race, so we are going flat-out to boost performance even more for the second half of the season. We will be working very hard on that right up to the weekend when the summer break officially begins as decreed by the regulations.

“It’s a break that everyone on our team has more than earned. We will then come back refreshed with the necessary energy to raise our game even further in the second half of the season.”

Mercedes finished the first part of the season with the fastest time of in-season testing in Budapest, with George Russell topping the times on Wednesday ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.