Mercedes head into the Austrian double in a cautious but positive mood following three race weekends where they’ve dropped points to title rival Red Bull.
Mercedes are now 37 points adrift of Red Bull in the Formula 1 standings after being beaten to the flag in Monaco, Azerbaijan and France, but team boss Toto Wolff says the team are aware of where they need to improve following a detailed debrief.
Those changes will be put into effect ahead of this weekend’s Austrian double-header, where they’ll be hoping to beat Red Bull on home soil and avoid “leaving points on the table”.
“We had an exciting race in France with another intense battle between the top four cars, and that challenge is something everyone in the team is relishing,” said Wolff.
“After the disappointment of missing the win had faded, there were plenty of positives to take from France.
“We scored a good haul of points with P2 and P4 and the pace of the car was an encouraging step forward compared to Monaco and Baku.
“But while we know there is still a long way to go and plenty more opportunities to come, in a season like this, every single point will matter and make the difference. And we’ve left points on the table at the last few races.
“We’ve debriefed France and understand the areas where we have the opportunity to improve. So, now it’s all about focusing on bringing those improvements to the next two rounds in Austria, where hopefully we can swing the positive momentum back in our favour.
“Thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for our next chance to try and do that and I can see the determination in every member of the team.”
Mercedes and Red Bull have dominated at the Red Bull Ring since it rejoined the calendar in 2014, with Mercedes taking six wins from eight events – including both the Austrian and Styrian rounds last year – but Wolff knows they can’t count on the past as an indication of what to expect this year
“Austria has been a tricky circuit for us in past seasons, but we went well there last year. We know the situation is very different this season, though.
“It’s a very quick lap and a short circuit, with fewer opportunities to gain time. The margins are going to be tight, so we’ll give it maximum attack!”