27 July 2016
F1 Hungarian GP: Hungary dominance a sign for rest of 2016 – Wolff
Mercedes has now won at all 21 circuits on the current F1 calendar since the V6 Hybrid regulations were introduced in 2014...
Toto Wolff says it was important for Mercedes to prove itself at the Hungarian Grand Prix this year after two years of missed opportunities at the Hungaroring, suggesting the current slowdown in development will only benefit it for the remainder of the year.
Despite showing strong practice and qualifying pace, Mercedes fluffed its chances in 2014 and 2015, with Red Bull and Ferrari instead sharing the spoils. However, despite Red Bull showing encouraging form in this year's event, Lewis Hamilton led Nico Rosberg for a comfortable 1-2 come race day.
It now means Mercedes has triumphed at all 21 circuits on the F1 calendar since V6 Hybrid regulations were ushered in at the start of the 2014 season, with Wolff admitting the Hungary win represents the sheer strength of the car across a variety of different circuits.
“That was not a track where we have been looking very good in the last couple of years,” he said. “If you would characterise the track you would say that it's more a Red Bull track or maybe Ferrari, and I think that we have progressed overall in the package, chassis, engine combination and that materialised in Silverstone, where we were doing well, and in the Hungaroring.
“Monaco was a bit different, Red Bull, due to the character of the car, it's probably really good in wet conditions.
“It was important for us to show such a pace in Hungary because it means that we are looking good for the end of the season, as most of the teams have switched off 2016 development and are developing for 2017.”
Indeed, though tweaks in the regulations are looming for 2017, Wolff believes the slowdown in the development race means Mercedes stands to maintain its dominance to the end of the season.
“I think we need to look at ourselves and we are really very honest to where we can improve and within the teams', this is the constant battle within us to work on the performance of the car and optimise the organisation and as this was not a good one in the last years, we tried to come out of the car and put a car on track here that does well.
“We haven't shown lots of ups and downs in terms of, how does the car perform on a specific track, we were good on every layout so far this season, which is a positive indication for the second half of the season considering that there is no more development. But nothing more again, it's early days. Some of the sessions Red Bull was really strong. In the wet they are really a force but we were in control in the race.”
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