Toto Wolff says while Mercedes will be motivated to finish second in F1 standings, but they are focused on 2023 where they are looking at title fight.
The 2022 season has seen Mercedes fall from their perch at the top of the tree. No wins so far for Lewis Hamilton or George Russell coupled with the porpoising issue that affected all teams at the start of the year. The German team were affected massively, they have knuckled down and got on with the job.
As it stands, they are 30 points behind Ferrari despite no wins against a team which has been fast all-season long with wins against its name too. It might well give them sufficient motivation to go after second place in the constructors’ championship.
Team principal Wolff says Mercedes is of course looking at winning races this year and possibility of getting past the Maranello outfit for second but he is more focused at next year where they want to be back into the championship hunt.
“Yes, absolutely,” started Wolff. “We’re going to try the maximum, we’re a bit closer at Zandvoort and it is good fun in any case. If we finish second in the constructors’ that is good motivation for the team and a boost, but my eyes are on to next year more than that.”
It’s not beyond the realms that despite that comment, Mercedes will hunt down Ferrari for second place. Not just that but this weekend at Monza, it is a low drag track which may not be suited to the team but the main issue is, they are up to speed once more and at the sharp end more often.
“I think it was a good track for us and I am not sure that we are going to have so successful weekends in terms of car pace going forward, but there is a lot to understand,” said Wolff. Much like the team boss, Andrew Shovlin says the team will have some changes made so that the problems of Spa won’t affect them at Monza.
“Fundamentally the aerodynamics of the car will be very similar,” said Shovlin. “We can run smaller wings but if we run smaller wings we got a bit less downforce and we are optimistic that some of the specific problems we had in Spa over the bumps shouldn’t affect us. So, we think we can get the car in a better working window”.
“However, the Red Bull does look very efficient, it’s fast on the straights and it’s quick in the corners and those problems seem bigger for us when we go to the low downforce tracks. It is difficult to say exactly where we will be but probably not as strong as we were in Zandvoort but hopefully nowhere near as difficult as it was in Spa.”
While Mercedes might not get their first win of 2022 at the theatre of speed, they should still be up there with the best namely Ferrari and Red Bull. Over the last few races, they appear to have got their mojo back so second in the constructors’ title race and race wins are their target for the remainder of 2022.
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