Wolff: We need progress in all areas

The weekend in France started hard for Mercedes, but in qualifying Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas showed the second and third results. The situation was commented on by the head of the team, Toto Wolff.

Question Toto, for Mercedes the weekend started very difficult, but according to the results of qualification, both of your riders were in the top three!
Toto Wolff: The weekend is not easy because we do not have enough speed. At first everything looked very bad, then we managed to get close, but in general we need progress in all areas. There is no one aspect to which it is enough to pay attention. For better competitiveness, we must work on all factors.

Q: It looks like the main difficulties Mercedes are associated with the tires – you overheat them faster than Red Bull Racing, right?
Toto Wolff: In my opinion, quite the opposite. In the first and second parts of the qualification, our riders showed their best results on the second or even the third fastest lap. Of course, a lot depended on the warming up of the tires during the preparation lap, but for sure this is not the only factor.

Q: In Saturday’s training session, the Red Bull Racing drivers worked with a lower level of downforce and followed this approach in qualifying, thereby reducing the load on the tires. Why didn’t you do the same?
Toto Wolff: Our calculations showed that with less downforce, we would be slower. Red Bull Racing turned out to be very fast on the straight, it helped them, but not the fact that we would have worked a similar approach.

Q: But your engineers should be aware that calculations and simulations can be wrong if the tires behave in strange ways!
Toto Wolff: Well, you can come to the base and tell them in person!

Question after the exchange of the chassis, Lewis in the car Valtteri clearly felt uncomfortable, but today he managed to make progress. Can we say that there are some problems with the chassis that Valtteri used earlier?
Toto Wolff: Instead of blaming the rider for the lack of speed, we always try to sort out the chassis and see if there are any stiffness problems or some hidden defects. This year the situation is specific, since from the previous season we have been using four chassis and trying to equalize their mileage. Lewis is performing this weekend on the chassis with which Valtteri was very competitive in Baku, but not fast enough in Monaco. As a team, we decided that it makes sense for our riders to change the chassis for one weekend in order to equalize the mileage. As for defects, all chassis are carefully scanned and checked for rigidity, in this regard there is no difference between them.

Q: Was there a moment during this weekend when any of the riders, for example, Lewis, said: “There is clearly something wrong with this chassis, I need something else”?
Toto Wolff: No, that was not the case. The team decided to change the chassis, the riders found out about it in the middle of the week, and they had no objections. I admit that if the rider thinks that something is wrong with the chassis, he wants to make a replacement, but we can not do it overnight and therefore must follow the chosen plan.

Question This year, the battle in the championship is particularly acute. How strong is the pressure for the team in a situation where each employee is required to work at the limit of their capabilities? Are your specialists happy with this challenge?
Toto Wolff: Certainly! We had seven glorious seasons, in none of them the battle was frankly simple, but now it has reached a qualitatively different level, it pleases!

Question Christian Horner made it easy for you, because you like to focus on strong opponents!
Toto Wolff: Each person has their own guidelines, but to be honest, I take an example not from Christian, but from other people.

Source: Формула 1 на F1News.ru by www.f1news.ru.

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