As the Formula 1 season comes to a close, the Sao Paulo Grand Prix is shaping up to be a thrilling race. Mercedes, who have been doing better lately, are feeling hopeful about challenging Red Bull for a win. The head of the Mercedes team, Toto Wolff, shares his thoughts on their chances. They’ve been doing well in Sao Paulo, winning six out of the last eight races there. Despite some ups and downs, they want to keep their feet on the ground and aim for a strong finish. Let’s dive into Toto Wolff’s take on this exciting racing season.
Toto Wolff Unfazed By Mercedes’ Recent Improvement
Mercedes has shown impressive speed in recent races, with Lewis Hamilton consistently in the mix for the top spot. However, it’s been a rollercoaster journey, including being disqualified from the United States Grand Prix. Despite the challenges, Mercedes has a fantastic record in Sao Paulo, winning six of the last eight races in Brazil. This includes last year’s incredible performance when Lewis Hamilton stormed through the field to secure victory. Additionally, it marked George Russell’s first Formula 1 win in 2022.
When questioned about their confidence in Brazil, Toto Wolff wisely replied, “I don’t know. If I’m too hopeful here… you know, only fools are overly optimistic. I’d rather stay grounded, do our best in qualifying, and hopefully, we can challenge Max Verstappen.” Wolff is aware of the unpredictability of the W14 car, but he’s encouraged by the recent pace. “We’ve shown promising speed in recent races, so we head to Interlagos with careful hope,” he said. The battle for second place in the constructors’ championship against Ferrari is of utmost importance. Mercedes is determined to come out on top in this competition.
“Coming away from Mexico with a second place, given the challenging start to the weekend and our grid positions, was positive. The car showed very good race pace; however, we know we’ve got more work to do to get the most out of the W14 across all three days.” Wolff acknowledges the uncertainty but believes in their solid starting point. “We’ve got one last race in this three-race stretch, and it’s in Brazil,” he remarked. We know we’ve taken a good step forward in recent races, but Mexico showed that W14 can still be tricky to handle. We will look to arrive in Interlagos with a solid foundation to work with and we’ll see what we can do from there.”
Ready To Outperform Ferrari At Best This Year
Mercedes’ position in the constructors’ championship is uncertain, with just a 22-point lead over Ferrari and three races remaining. Lewis Hamilton’s determination is to keep Mercedes ahead of their rivals, and he expects a close battle. Hamilton, who has consistently finished second in the last two races, expressed his uncertainty about Mercedes’ performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “I don’t really know,” he admitted, aware of the competition from Red Bull and Ferrari. The unpredictability of Formula 1 keeps every team on their toes, and preparation is key.
Hamilton’s battle with Ferrari has been exciting and close, with Mercedes looking to maintain their edge. “It’s a really fun, enjoyable battle we’re having,” Hamilton said. “It’s going to be close in these last three races. So it’s going to take everyone’s best effort to compete with these guys.” Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix was a departure from Red Bull’s dominant run, and Max Verstappen is determined to avoid the setup issues they faced in 2022. With just one practice session to fine-tune their cars, the race promises to be thrilling.
“Last year, we didn’t have a great race weekend here,” Verstappen admitted. “The sprint format makes it somewhat tricky to immediately get everything right. We had a few ideas about why last year wasn’t that great, but we have one practice session to make sure things are better this year. I think there’s a lot of tire wear here and the way you have to set up the car, lots of slow corners. I don’t think our cars are particularly, let’s say, excellent in the slow corners, so we’ll find out.” As the Sao Paulo Grand Prix approaches, Formula 1 fans can expect intense battles and unpredictability on the track. Mercedes’ careful hope and determination to challenge Red Bull and fend off Ferrari add an exciting dimension to this thrilling season.