Mercedes should not “oscillate between mania and depression”, says Wolff
Russell and Hamilton to start second and third in Melbourne
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has warned the team not to get carried away after an impressive qualifying performance in Melbourne for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix. George Russell and Lewis Hamilton will start second and third, while Sergio Perez of Red Bull struggled and will start last on the grid. It’s a significant improvement on the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which saw the team investigate a change of car concept.
The team should focus on long-term gains
Wolff praised the team’s extra speed in Melbourne but reminded them to stay focused on the bigger picture and the planned change to achieve longer-term gains. He stressed the importance of rational thinking and avoiding “oscillating between mania and depression”. He urged the team to race with the best possible package, emphasising that narrow or wide body is irrelevant, as long as the car has more downforce in the sweet spot.
Don’t get carried away
While Wolff was pleased with the Melbourne performance, he warned the team not to get carried away, as the next race may not yield the same result. Wolff insisted the team must avoid swings from exuberance to despair and reminded them that the team has no dogma on what the car should look like, but they know exactly where they got it wrong. He praised his engineers for getting the tyres to work well in tricky conditions, something other teams struggled with.
Agility of the team was particularly good
Wolff commended the team for being agile in deciding on the structure of the qualifying, including when to put in fast laps. He praised the mechanical set-up group and the drivers for delivering, highlighting the car’s edginess compared to the other cars. Wolff ended by saying that while there have been lows this season, there have also been highs. He cautioned the team to avoid getting carried away with the highs and to stay focused on the long-term picture.