Coming off back-to-back wins in the first two races of the 2020 Formula 1 world championship, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff insists we’ve yet to see the full capability of what the team can do this season.
And he warned that the same was true of their main rivals for this year’s title, Red Bull.
“We haven’t seen the full potential of the Red Bull and we haven’t seen the full potential of the Mercedes either,” Wolff told the official Formula1.com website after Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.
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“I’m 100 percent convinced they will come very strong in Hungary,” she added. “It’s a track they have shown historically great performance.
He insisted that his own team certainly wouldn’t be sitting back and taking things for granted after its double success, adding that constant self-criticism was core to the squad’s ethos.
“We’re always sceptical about our own performance, we just always think it’s not good enough,” he said.
“We’re almost like hunting ourselves down and that is the mindset of this team, never to be satisfied with a result.
“When you are listening in the debrief on Monday morning after winning a race, you would think this is a team that has lost out badly!
“It’s just a culture we have developed over the last years that we never blame a person, we always blame the problem.
“We just want to take session by session, weekend by weekend, learning from the bad days and collecting the points on good day.
Although Valtteri Bottas convincingly won the first Grand Prix of the season, Wolff pointed out that the race had been far from ideal for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton finishing off the podium and both cars suffering technical gremlins.
“[It] was another proof [or our approach],” he explained. “We won the race with Valtteri, we didn’t finish in a satisfactory position with Lewis. We were worried [about not finishing] with both cars.
“Then the next weekend we came back very strong, reliability woes solved and a very competitive car and a very competitive driver line up.”
After a subdued first day of practice on Friday for the second round, Hamilton bounced back from the previous week’s setbacks to blitz the field in qualifying, and then didn’t put a foot wrong in the race which saw him quickly pull clear of Max Verstappen.
“Lewis managed the gap,” Wolff commented. “There was probably more in there, but it is always a bit easier to lead than to follow in the dirty air.
“We saw Max commenting on how difficult it was to follow. Lewis had the same to say when lapping cars. Therefore, we may have seen everything from Max following. But maybe leading [it could be a different situation].”
Mercedes currently leads the constructors championship with 80 points which is more than double that of their nearest rivals – who are not Red Bull, but rather McLaren.
Bottas leads the drivers championship over his team mate by six points, with Lando Norris currently in third 11 points further back.
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