Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has said that the team are “hungry [and] ambitious” ahead of their home event at this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
It has been a strange series of races for the Silver Arrows, something Wolff admits. “We didn’t score as many points in the triple-header as we had hoped for,” he said. “A lot of that was down to our own mistakes. However, there is a silver lining to this – while we didn’t maximise on points, we did bring the quickest car to all three races.
“Hockenheim will mark the halfway point of the 2018 season. We’ve had a decent first half – on the one hand, we’ve left points on the table and had to do damage limitation more often than we would have wanted. On the other hand, we still scored a good amount of points, both drivers have shown strong performances and we have a fast car.
“So, there are many reasons why we’re looking forward to the second half of the 2018 season; we’re hungry, ambitious and want to kick on from there.”
At the French Grand Prix, the first race of the triple-header, Lewis Hamilton romped to victory while Valtteri Bottas was spun at the start by Sebastian Vettel, suffering a left-rear puncture in the process that dropped him way down the order. He eventually recovered to seventh. A week later in Austria, both Bottas and Hamilton retired from the race in what is believed to be Mercedes’ first double mechanical retirement in F1 since the 1950s. Then, another week after that, Silverstone and the British Grand Prix saw an inversion of the Paul Ricard incident. This time, it was the other Mercedes of Hamilton that was pitched into a spin on the first lap by the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Bottas would finish P4, while Hamilton recovered to finish P2.
Speaking of the looming German Grand Prix, Wolff added, “Going to Hockenheim always feels like coming home. It’s only about a 90-minute drive from the Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart.
“While we had the great opportunity to race in front of many of our colleagues from Brackley and Brixworth in Silverstone, we’re now looking forward to welcoming the German members of the Mercedes family to the circuit and to holding high the three-pointed star on home turf.
“The track itself is quite interesting; it has a variety of corner speeds and will test every aspect of the car.
“We will fight hard to not only put on a good show for our friends and fans in Hockenheim, but also get the result that they will be hoping for.”
Going into the race, Hamilton and Bottas are P2 and P5 in the WDC respectively, with the former eight points behind leader Sebastian Vettel. In the constructors’ championship, Mercedes are twenty points behind Ferrari, with the prospect of their home race making them keener than ever to make up ground.
Featured image courtesy of Steve Etherington / Mercedes AMG F1.