Surprisingly, Mercedes clinched their second consecutive double podium of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton finished second as he secured his fifth podium in a row on Sunday, just below eight seconds behind the winner Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, George Russell started at pole position for Mercedes for the first time this season and showed some great pace to finish third, ahead of Carlos Sainz.
The Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was thrilled with his team’s unexpected performance in Budapest after a rough Friday practice. The former Austrian driver said it was a great outing on Sunday but his team always wants more. Wolff shared this his team had a good car and showed some good pace to finish second and third. Moreover, George had a great pace during the race but he ran out of tyres during the final stages of the race and Lewis came out of nowhere.
Wolff shared that Hamilton was in the shadows, and nobody was looking at him. Suddenly, the Briton was doing faster lap times than the race leaders. According to Toto Wolff, Lewis and Budapest is an old love story, and Hamilton could have won the race if he did not have a DRS issue in qualifying. The Austrian reckoned that Mercedes had a result they worked with heading into the summer break. Moreover, this happened when Mercedes had a very bad Friday and had an idea of what to avoid going ahead in the season.
However, Toto Wolff felt that Spa would be a completely different story. The team principal suggested that 1 second and third place is not good enough as the team wants to win. Wolff also talked about the shocking pole position from George Russell during the qualifying on Sunday. The outcome surprised the faster outfits, Red Bull and Ferrari.
Toto Wolff Thinks Mercedes Out of The Box Strategy Helped Them Secure The Pole In Hungary
Mercedes racing team shocked everyone across the paddock as George Russell clinched his team’s first pole position this season. However, the Silver Arrows could not provide a specific explanation for the outcome. Wolff suggested that Mercedes’ out-of-the-box approach with testing and set-ups this season has helped the W13 unlock some good pace in Hungary. His team had taken an unconventional approach by introducing a floor in Silverstone without first testing it in the wind tunnel.
Mercedes had taken some extra risks by trying things every weekend on Fridays and Saturdays. Moreover, Toto Wolff told that F1 is a database sport. However, the team could not rely on data. The response from the wind tunnels, CFD, and simulations did not correlate with the real-time happenings on the track. Thus, Mercedes had to rely on reverse engineering correlation in order to get positive results.
The Mercedes team principal shared he had no explanation for how Russell set the fastest lap in qualifying. Toto Wolff asked his technical engineering director Andrew Shovlin to write everything down they did not Saturday, including the food, to retrace the secret behind their qualifying performance.