Toto Wolff says Mercedes is “putting an emphasis on the race”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Toto Wolff says last year at the Dutch Grand Prix Mercedes “made a big improvement from Friday to Saturday”, but now “putting an emphasis on the race” makes “more sense than just chasing the pole position”.

The Dutch Grand Prix Free Practice sessions went pretty well for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton managed to get P3 in FP1 and P4 in FP2.

Despite having pretty good single lap performance, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says the team is more focused on the race.

“[F]P1 was a little bit better but it was definitely encouraging,” the Austrian said.

“I think on the medium compound Hamilton was very competitive then on the soft it was less so.

“We made a big improvement from Friday to Saturday last year which we’re not 100 per cent sure we understand yet but the car was competitive.

“I think putting an emphasis on the race, like we did now, makes more sense than just chasing the pole position.

“You can’t win every year and you need to just take it on the chin.”

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George Russell didn’t have such a good result. The young Briton finished FP1 in P11 and FP2 in P14. Toto says he wouldn’t read too much into this.

“I think on the first run this afternoon with the harder compound, the medium they used, he [Russell] was very competitive and then putting on the soft it wasn’t any more.

“I wouldn’t make too much of this today. I think tomorrow we will see,” Wolff concluded.

George was also optimistic after the session.

“The race pace was looking strong,” George said.

“And there is plenty of potential in there for qualifying as well, even if it didn’t quite show in the headline times for me.

“Definitely this was one of our better Fridays, and I’m optimistic for the rest of the weekend,” the Briton concluded.

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