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
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022