Toto Wolff has revealed that Mercedes will be ‘reenergised and ready to go,” at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, as the reigning champions look to extend their unbeaten Russian GP record in Sochi.
Mercedes have won all seven races held in Sochi since it joined the calendar in 2014 with four of those victories coming with Lewis Hamilton, yet this year find themselves in a title fight against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Wolff though feels that after “a demanding and intense triple header,” in which Mercedes took 56.5 points across both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the team will be “reenergised and ready to go,” in search of an eighth consecutive Russian GP victory.
Mercedes will be boosted by the news that Max Verstappen has a three-place grid penalty for wiping Hamilton out at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix last time out, which Wolff has admitted to being “bittersweet” as Bottas stormed through the field to finish third and claim the fastest lap point too.
Wolff however is happy with how competitive the car is looking heading into the final eight rounds of the seasons, as he said: “The pleasing thing is that the W12 looks competitive and with just eight races to go, now is the time to use our experience and focus on the details and processes which will get us over the line.”
Looking ahead to Sochi, Russia, Wolff believes that Mercedes’ unbeaten record around Sochi Autodrom won’t count for much, given the “entirely different beast” of this season in “intense” nature.
Explaining his aims for the weekend as a sense of “calm determination” lingers around the team, Wolff added: “Our aim is to pull together a strong weekend, starting in FP1 and building one session at a time.
“Lewis is in the tenth championship battle of his F1 career, and he is laser focused on what he needs to deliver in the next eight races.
“As for Valtteri, he’s driving better than ever, like we saw in Monza – and he will be flat out every weekend.”