Toto Wolff says Mercedes is “in a better place” to fight Red Bull

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ car is “in a better place than it was in the spring and the summer”, so now the team can take the fight to Red Bull.

Since the beginning of the season Red Bull has been obviously faster than Mercedes, however, the German team managed to stay close in both championships.

Team boss Toto Wolff now says Mercedes is in a better place to fight Red Bull than it was before Formula 1’s summer break.

“The regulations that came in at the beginning of the year created a situation where you run the car where we haven’t been running in the last few years,” the Austrian said.

“The more we run it, the more we drive, the more we could simulate situations, the better we have performed.

“So today we would have been first and second on the road with a solid margin, but unfortunately Lewis has to go back.

“The nice part of the day is that we have pace, and there is six plus one races to go, and where the car is today is definitely in a better place than it was in the spring and the summer.”

The progress was evident in Turkish Grand Prix Qualifying where Mercedes locked out the front row. However, Lewis Hamilton will have to start the race from P11 due to an engine related ten-place grid penalty.

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This means Valtteri Bottas will start tomorrow’s race from pole, however Wolff says he will not be assisting Hamilton.

“Valtteri’s going to race his race tomorrow. This is about the race win and Valtteri’s win, and the team’s win, and we’re not going to do any bunching up.

“But it is what it is, he can only try to do the utmost, and I wouldn’t want to have any other driver in the car when it is about overtaking and going through the field than Lewis.

“Having said that, yesterday we simulated some of these situations, and it’s very difficult to follow in traffic, a phenomenon we have seen all year, but could be something that we need to fight tomorrow.

“There will not be many options left than to try with strategy, and obviously hope that the front train is not disappearing into the distance,” concluded Mercedes’ team boss.

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