Team principal Toto Wolff says Mercedes should be under no illusions after their impressive performance in Australia last weekend. According to the Austrian, they need to investigate why they were suddenly so much faster than the first two race weekends of the season.
The Silver Arrows took a sudden lead on the first lap of the race in Melbourne when both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton passed race winner Max Verstappen. For Russell, however, a promising afternoon quickly turned into chaos. He dived to the new rubber during a safety car period, but that was red-flagged shortly after, causing the 25-year-old driver to lose several positions. In the end it didn’t matter, as the Mercedes power source in his W14 gave up the ghost after a while.
For Hamilton, the race in Melbourne went very smoothly. The seven-time world champion managed to keep Fernando Alonso out of bounds, eventually finishing second. Wolff says he’s satisfied with the car’s performance at the Albert Park Street circuit, but says he also has a number of question marks about where the sudden good pace came from. “We have to start thinking about why we got here so quickly,” he says. “We shouldn’t kid ourselves, but in terms of growth we’re sticking to this direction and taking it one step at a time.”
Verstappen class with TRS
The Austrian continues: “Our pace was good. Behind Verstappen, he drives in a different class when the TRS opens, everyone is on the same level.” Hamilton has moved up to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, taking his second place Down Under, seven points behind Alonso. Mercedes will introduce the first major upgrade package during the race weekend at Imola, which is believed to further improve performance.
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