Toto Wolff says Mercedes’ weaknesses on tight and twisty circuits are down to the ‘DNA of a car’ which is being exposed by Ferrari and Red Bull in the 2017 Formula 1 world championship.

While the Mercedes team has taken eight wins from the opening 13 races this season the German manufacturer has been handed resounding defeats at circuits which demand maximum downforce and are less power unit dependent like Monaco, Hungary and Australia – races all won by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Wolff accepts the favourite tag switches between the F1 title rivals depending on the circuit type and given the Marina Bay Street Circuit’s tight and twisty nature the Mercedes boss expects a tough challenge to beat Ferrari and Red Bull.

Having run analysis into the performance deficit Mercedes suffers at these types of tracks, Wolff is confident the team has made progress but admits weaknesses may remain due to the design theory used to create the W08.

“So far this year, we have seen the pendulum swing according to circuit type,” Wolff said. “On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favour both Ferrari and Red Bull.

“Both have shown strong performance on low-speed circuits demanding maximum downforce, and we have found life more difficult at those places in 2017. Sometimes, characteristics like this are simply in the DNA of a car.

“Nevertheless we learned a lot from our struggles in Monaco, raised our level of performance significantly in Hungary and we have made good progress in understanding what we need to do in order to get the most from the chassis. We will aim to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and finish strongly.”

Despite seeing Ferrari and Red Bull as favourites in Singapore, the remainder of the 2017 F1 race calendar heads to circuits which will play to the strengths of Mercedes. Since 2014 Mercedes has lost just two races at the remaining tracks on the 2017 calendar – Singapore in 2015 and Malaysia in 2016.


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