Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has backed his squad’s reaction to its nightmare double DNF at the Austria Grand Prix and is confident of targeting a fightback at Silverstone this weekend.

Despite looking the dominant team throughout the weekend in Austria, Mercedes’ race fell apart after Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire with a hydraulics issue which triggered a Virtual Safety Car period.

With Lewis Hamilton leading, Mercedes opted not to pit the British driver but with both Red Bull and Ferrari double stacking their two cars it proved to be a disaster for the defending F1 world champion. Pitting after the Virtual Safety Car, Hamilton dropped from first to fourth which led to him venting his frustration over the team radio.

Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles publicly apologised over the team radio for the pit error before the team’s miserable race was capped by a fuel pressure issue which forced Hamilton to retire from the race.

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While Wolff called it the worst day since Mercedes returned to F1, he has supported the team’s reaction to its faults and supports the squad to bounce back at the British Grand Prix.

“We tried to show the right character in defeat,” Wolff said. “We took full responsibility for our mistakes, which takes guts, and we will now analyse them and come back stronger from that learning.

“Both drivers were calm and showed true leadership. We have had the fastest and most reliable car in recent years - and they reminded us of that fact.

“It is the tough times that help us grow as individuals and as a team - not the good ones. Motor racing taught us a lesson about humility on Sunday - even when you have the fastest car, even when you lead the first 12 laps with both cars, things run away from you very fast if you make mistakes.

“We come to Silverstone on the back of the worst weekend we've had in a very long time. We are determined to put up a hard fight on home turf and come back with a strong result - one that is worthy of our drivers' performance, our fans' passion and the Mercedes brand.”

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have a formidable record at Silverstone with the British driver clinching victory for the past four consecutive years, while Nico Rosberg’s 2013 triumph sees Mercedes unbeaten at the British Grand Prix for five years.

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