Lewis Hamilton and George Russell battled for victory at the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix last weekend, before their hopes were dashed due to a late VSC and safety car.
This came after Russell claimed Mercedes’ first pole position before the summer break at the Hungarian GP, where he even led the race before finishing third.
Although the unique characteristics of Spa-Francorchamps made the German team experience a very difficult weekend in Belgium, Mercedes says that the lessons learned there left the team in a good position in terms of understanding the behavior of the W13.
However, team principal Toto Wolff prefers to remain calm and acknowledges that some circuits, especially bumpy ones, can trip up their drivers again.
“Our performance is very much rooted in the concept car that we have, but now we are better understanding how it interacts with everything around it,” he said.
“I think we can fine-tune the car to suit all conditions and get into the right performance window.”
“Having said that, there will be races that are better for us, but there may also be some on the calendar that are very difficult.
“Austin is a circuit that worries us a little more than the others, because it can be very difficult for us. So you have to be realistic.
“We are not going to fight for pole positions at all the circuits, the goal is to recover and do so from next year.”
As well as the W13 not doing well on bumpy tracks, as they can’t get the car as low to the ground as they’d like to get its maximum downforce, straight line speed also seems to be a concern.
Wolff says that the key at the moment is to understand what they need to progress for next season, to get a car that works in all conditions.
“That bad that we live in Spa was really necessary to understand why we were going to do well here in Zandvoort,” he said.
“As weird as it sounds when we’re talking about a high-tech science lab on wheels, the data doesn’t seem to correlate this year. So we’re collecting data on the track so we can put the puzzle together once and for all.”
“We have already added some new pieces to the puzzle for next year. But, as I said before, I don’t expect the weekends to be this good (Zandvoort) until the end of the year.
“There will be more bumpy circuits that won’t allow us to set up the car the way we want, and there will be tracks where we have a lot of limitations. So obviously we’re not going to fight for the next seven wins,” concluded the Mercedes driver .