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Wolff: No guarantee of repeat F1 Brazilian GP winning form this weekend

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team is taking nothing for granted about its potential in Formula 1’s Brazilian Grand Prix, despite winning the race last year.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG, 2nd position, George Russell, Mercedes AMG, 1st position, congratulate each other on the podium

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG, 2nd position, George Russell, Mercedes AMG, 1st position, congratulate each other on the podium

Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The German manufacturer is still chasing its first victory of the 2023 campaign with rival Ferrari the only outfit that has so far managed to knock Red Bull off the top step of the podium this season.

But with its W14 having shown some promising pace thanks to a floor upgrade that arrived at the United States GP, and it being so strong at Interlagos 12 months ago, the squad has been singled out as a potential favourite this weekend.

But Wolff says that the strengths and weaknesses of cars are not necessarily the same this season as they were last, so there is little point in his squad believing that it has the package needed to come out on top.

Asked if he felt the W14 could be an even better prospect for Brazil than last year’s W13, Wolff said: “To be honest I don't know. I think we can see with all teams that there is a certain degree of correlation of last year's performance and this year.

“But there is not enough data to make that solid assumption, so I don't know. Both feet on the ground and let's see where we are at Interlagos.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Mercedes is coming off the back of Lewis Hamilton’s second-placed finish in Mexico last weekend, which made amends for the seven-time champion losing a similar result in Austin because of an illegal plank.

Wolff says there is a great deal of encouragement to be had from the fact that the improved W14 appears to be more confidence-inspiring for its drivers.

“I think we've seen that it is providing more downforce, more driveability,” he said. “The car is a little bit less tricky.

“Still, the genes are there, Lewis said to me [in Mexico] 'she's still so difficult to drive although she's faster', so I think for us it was important to see whether directionally we were going in the right directions for next year.

“We seem to be on the right path because you must not forget, the car that we've designed didn't have that floor, that airflow, these sidepods, leading edges and all the Christmas decoration around the design. So hopefully that can now be a stepping stone.”

Last year’s race-winner George Russell sees no reason why Interlagos should not suit the Mercedes but was mindful that the unsettled weather conditions predicted for the weekend could work against the team.

"On paper, the form of the car should be good there, as it was [in Mexico],” he explained.

“I think the weather's a bit up and down, but we're definitely excited to go to Brazil. Obviously tight with Ferrari in the constructors' championship, but confident we can bring it home."

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