Wolff: Mercedes must remain cautious after Hungarian GP 'perfect storm'

Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff thinks his team needs to stay cautious about its pace deficit to Ferrari and Red Bull after believing it may have “landed in the perfect window” in Hungary.

Wolff: Mercedes must remain cautious after Hungarian GP 'perfect storm'

In Budapest Russell took his first career pole, which was Mercedes’ first of a troubled 2022 season.

While the Briton was unable to hang on to the lead on Sunday, he and team-mate Lewis Hamilton still delivered a second consecutive double podium for the Brackley team, with Russell following second-placed Hamilton home in third.

Wolff warned on Sunday night that the team's breakthrough performance could have been the result of a perfect storm.

Showers on Saturday and Sunday morning caused a drop in temperatures and substantial change in track conditions, which ended up hurting Ferrari and benefitting Mercedes, which had been lost on Friday and needed to make wholesale set-up changes.

Therefore, Wolff is unsure if Mercedes will be able to replicate its Hungarian GP performance over the second half of the season.

“I think we need to be careful that it's not specific to Budapest that we just landed in the perfect window,” Wolff cautioned. “The other teams, Ferrari especially yesterday, complained about the tyre not being where it should have been.

“So, in my personal opinion, we're still lacking to the frontrunners.

“You've seen that Leclerc on the right tyre is still a dominant force. But at least we were in the same race.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W132n crosses the line to the delight of his team on the pit wall

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W132n crosses the line to the delight of his team on the pit wall

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Praising his drivers, he added: “George – fantastic weekend for him with a pole position and today with the strategy did the utmost and, with Lewis, I think without us screwing up with the DRS yesterday, I think he would have raced Max for the victory.

“But would doesn't count in this sport, it wasn't the fact. I'm just sorry that we weren't able to be in that position.”

Read Also:

Mercedes, which struggled massively with bouncing issues and a general lack of pace across the first third of 2022, has seen a steady improvement in performance and has now collected 11 podiums, the same as Ferrari, while Hamilton has six podiums compared to Charles Leclerc's five.

When asked if there was more to Mercedes' improved form than just track conditions, Wolff preferred to stay realistic: “I don't know. Like I said before, I don't want to say now suddenly we are right bang into the game and we can win races because I don't think that's the case.

“I think we landed it well in Budapest on Saturday, and we are reaping the results [in the race]. But I don't think we are close enough to Ferrari and Red Bull to really fight them as of yet, but lots of learning and it's important to get it wrong also.”

shares
comments

Related video

Autosport Podcast: Alonso, Piastri, Aston and Alpine - making sense of driver market madness
Previous article

Autosport Podcast: Alonso, Piastri, Aston and Alpine - making sense of driver market madness

Next article

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022