Wolff expects Mercedes will soon compete for wins on pace

Toto Wolff believes his Mercedes team will soon be fighting for wins on pure performance given the momentum it has been showing in recent races.

George Russell won the Austrian Grand Prix after benefiting from a collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in the final 10 laps of the race at the Red Bull Ring, having previously been running third. Canada saw Russell and teammate Lewis Hamilton both in the frame for victory in the late stages, while Hamilton was third in Spain, and Wolff says the recent results show Mercedes is closing in on McLaren and Red Bull.

“On pace, we were the third-quickest car. We’ve been this way the last three weekends and that is very encouraging, to see that upward trend and the consolidation of the trend,” the Mercedes team principal said. “But racing happens on Sunday. Sometimes we’ve been on the receiving end and [in Austria] we’ve benefited from the incident at the front.


“It’s just good to have that win in the pocket this year. It means there’s four teams that won races this year, and it’s been just 2023 where we haven’t won a race since 2011. That is good to know and certainly big momentum now in the team to go to a point where we are able on real performance to fight for the win. And I think we will be.”

While stopping short of saying Mercedes could bring more performance to its car in time for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, Wolff says the pace deficit to the top two teams is now so small that a step forward in the range of 0.1s later this month could make it a more regular threat.

“I think we are bringing upgrades now almost to every race. The factory is running on full steam,” Wolff said. “We’ve never had this in 12 years — that we were able to develop, design, manufacturer, bring to the track and have the quality in the pieces. I’ve seriously never seen that pace.

“Every single race we have brought upgrades. Every single race, we will bring upgrades and I hope by the summer break we can make another step. Now everyone else is working hard. But if we can eat a bit away at that gap… I think it was 15 seconds in 70 laps, so two tenths [a lap]… and that’s OK. That’s a P3 and hopefully if we can half it, we can race in front.”

Story originally appeared on Racer