The British team hopes they can find some better performance.
Mercedes has a great desire to join the fight for the very top this season, as well as to record the first victory, which is why they have prepared new parts for the French Grand Prix. However, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell could not match Ferrari and Red Bull, but now the seven-time champion hopes that the leaders can and have some problems and that their upgrades could do a good job.
“We will have change on the car. I hope we will be able to discover something more.” said Hamilton at the official press conference. “I believe we can be in the game, we are all working hard for that. I think we’ll be able to compete with these guys at some point, whether it’s this weekend or five weekends from now.”
Mercedes has confirmed that they will have new upgrades on their car at the French Grand Prix, with which they are looking for the opportunity to win another podium.
After an alarmingly poor start to the 2022 season that saw major rule changes, the eight-time constructors’ champions are looking for solutions to close the performance gap behind Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes finished on the podium seven times this year, all of them were in third place, four were won by Lewis Hamilton and three by George Russell. But the only time they really looked like getting close in the race was when the seven-time champion was challenging the Ferraris for most of the British Grand Prix – although that was also due to Leclerc’s damaged car.
Last race weekend in Austria, Hamilton and Russell were behind after both ended up in the barriers during qualifying, but recovered after the sprint race to finish third and fourth respectively in the race, but here again they took advantage of the withdrawal of Ferrari and Red Bull.
However, the steady progress they are making, together with the characteristics of the Paul Ricard circuit, gives rise to predictions that Mercedes could be in a higher position at the French GP – especially with the team confirming upgrades to the car with which they want a new podium.
In his review, the head of Mercedes touched on what they did on the last race weekend in Austria, but he also indicated what he expects from the team on the Paul Ricard track.
“Third and fourth place in Austria was a satisfying result for the whole team, especially considering the position we were in on Friday night. The team worked a miracle to have two complete racing cars ready for the sprint and the race. Twenty-seven points on Sunday was a good reward for that effort,” he explains.
“We won three podiums in the first seven races and now we’ve won four in the last four (races). I am satisfied with the momentum we are building, and it reflects the tremendous effort of the team. “Our understanding of the W13 (car) is growing with every lap and it’s encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results,” he added.
“Even though we were faster in Austria, we still weren’t fast enough to challenge (the teams) at the top. We have to keep chasing those last few tenths and bring new upgrades to the cars, including this weekend in France.”
“Paul Ricard is quite a different track and challenge. It has smooth asphalt and a wide range of turns, along with long straights. The goal will be to make a further breakthrough (in reducing) the gap to the top, and we hope to return to the podium,” concluded Wolff.
Mercedes also announced that Nyck de Vries will replace Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice session in Austria in order for the Dutchman to fulfill the first requirement of a rookie driver participating in two free practice sessions this season – a new provision introduced for each team.