Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he has unwavering faith in his squad’s capabilities of overcoming its recent performance dip given its previous record but warns of an added challenge at the French Grand Prix.

Despite dominating to three consecutive Formula 1 wins in Canada leading into the last round in Montreal, Mercedes had no answer for Ferrari’s pace in qualifying and the race as Sebastian Vettel stormed to a dominant victory and with it the drivers’ championship lead.

After the race in Canada, Wolff pointed to a couple of issues which hampered his team’s performance – a cooling issue and the delay in its engine update – while a key problem has been identified with its tyre analysis carried out during testing which Wolff described as the “wrong direction” with the hypersoft compounds.

Mercedes will avoid battling its tyres problems with Pirelli providing the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft compounds at Paul Ricard, with a thinner tread compound also used in France which the German manufacturer found extensive gains from in Spain.

French GP Records

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Consequently, Wolff is confident of a fightback at the French GP along with the team’s expected engine update.

“In the past, Montreal was a track where we were fighting for the win, but this year we lacked the performance. We analysed the weekend and understand why we didn't do better, but that doesn't change the fact that we left points on the table,” Wolff said.

“We need to be on top of our game every weekend to win races and to fight for this championship. We are facing an exciting challenge this year and we will give it everything. This team has shown in the past that it is capable of overcoming obstacles and we are working hard to overcome this one as well.

“France should be an interesting race. We don't often get to race on a track where we have little to no historical data. It makes preparing for the weekend a bit trickier than usual, but that element of the unknown also adds to the challenge.”

Lewis Hamilton trails Vettel by just one point in the F1 world drivers’ championship after the opening third of the season, while Mercedes still leads the world constructors’ standings by 17 points from Ferrari.



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