Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has revealed the side now fully understands the setup mistakes that contributed to its surprise performance drop in Brazil.
The German marque endured a disastrous weekend at Interlagos, with Lewis Hamilton trundling home eighth and George Russell retiring amid engine temperature concerns.
The result, which Wolff labelled his “worst weekend in 13 years”, marked an unexpected downturn for Mercedes. Prior to Brazil, Hamilton had chased Max Verstappen for victory in the United States before also finishing second to the Red Bull in Mexico.
Wolff initially conceded post-race that he was unable to determine a reason for Mercedes’ slump but anticipated it would discover a fundamental issue upon review.
Although he refused to expand on the team’s subsequent findings, Wolff has disclosed that Mercedes identified the problems that resulted in its worst weekend of the season.
Previewing the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, Wolff noted: “After promising performances in the US and Mexico, we didn’t perform at our best in Brazil.
“We have been hard at work to identify the wrong turn we took with the set-up; we have done that. We understand our mistakes and can explain our performance loss to the field. That’s important as we look to secure P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Mercedes capitalised on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who was set to start on the front row, suffering a technical failure that prevented him from even starting the race.
Despite retaining a 20-point advantage over Ferrari with two rounds remaining, Wolff is cautious about the prospect of the inaugural Las Vegas GP catching Mercedes out.
“In parallel, we have been preparing for the challenge of racing at a venue that is a complete unknown,” Wolff continued.
“We have prepared the best we can, using the limited information we have, and there are some unique characteristics we can anticipate. The schedule is offset compared to other races.
“We’ll be running at night, where ambient and track temperatures will likely be in the single digits. Plus, the track layout itself is unusual with many slow corners but long straights.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us all and we’re looking forward to taking it on. It will also be an immense effort off-track.
“We have an impressive guest hosting programme including our own three-storey Vegas Club next to Turn 4. Media interest will be through the roof and seeing the cars race down the Las Vegas Strip will be one of the most exciting moments of the season.
“The eyes of the sporting world will be on F1, and we look forward to putting on a spectacular show. It is going to be something truly special to witness.”