Toto Wolff says he is confident that Mercedes will be able to bounce back from a tough race in Korea when F1 heads to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
qualified second and fourth on the grid at the Yeongam circuit but could only finish fifth and seventh, with Hamilton struggling with tyre wear and Rosberg being forced to pit to have the nose on his car following a front wing failure.
It meant a somewhat disappointing end to a race that promised much after qualifying, although Wolff said there were still positives to take to Suzuka.
“The team had a frustrating time in Korea,” he said. “Qualifying showed the pace that we had in the car but we were not able to use it at the right moments of the race. We also lost points because of a problem on Nico's car and everybody in the team is working hard to get on top of reliability issues like this one.
“Looking ahead to Japan, we can take two small positives from last weekend. First, we closed the points gap to Ferrari
in the constructors' championship, and it now stands at just a single point. The second is that our car was possibly the quickest of all in sector two last weekend, which contained all the medium and high-speed corners.
“This is promising for Suzuka, where nearly two thirds of the corners are taken in fourth gear or higher, and should see our car perform well on this fantastic track. It's a true drivers' circuit and we have the best driver pairing in the field, so I am optimistic Nico and Lewis can qualify and race strongly to bounce back from last weekend.”
Rosberg added that he was keen to try and end a run of form that has seen him fail to make it onto the podium since he took victory at Silverstone back in June.
“Suzuka is one of the most exciting circuits of the year and I love racing there,” he said. “Our car has been fast in high-speed corners this season as we seem to have good downforce so I hope the fast layout of Suzuka will suit us this weekend.
“I would love to get the deserved good result that has eluded us for the last few races and I know that everyone has been working really hard to achieve that.”