‘But it’s not Barcelona’: Wolff on Mercedes’ performance expectations for Silverstone

Sir Lewis Hamilton achieved his second podium of the season in Canada last weekend.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes that the Silverstone circuit may be kinder to his team than Monaco, Baku and Montreal, but warns that they cannot rest on their laurels.

Monaco and Baku are entirely made up of streets and public roads, while the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal is made up partly of public roads, so the surface on all three of them is generally quite bumpy.

Silverstone, after multiple resurfacing jobs in recent years, is smoother in comparison, and a smoother asphalt naturally makes for less bouncing.

READ: Sainz told he’s only good enough to be Ferrari’s number two driver

“Porpoising” and bottoming is something the Silver Arrows have really struggled with under the new technical regulations which saw the return of ground effect.

The contact with the track surface has been costing them time on the straight as well as impacting George Russell and Sir Lewis Hamilton physically, so the less of that they can have, the better.

Since the turn of the turbo hybrid era in 2014, Mercedes have won seven races in Silverstone, with Hamilton claiming all of them.

The racetrack in Northamptonshire has typically been kind to the eight-time constructors’ champions in recent years, but that is no guarantee of success this weekend.

“Silverstone was good to us in the past and the circuit is smoother than the last three ones,” said Wolff.

Article continues below

“But it’s not Barcelona, so now we should manage our own expectations and really grind away, look at the data and come up with some sensible solutions, not just for Silverstone but going forward.”

Hamilton finished third in Canada with Russell in fourth after they had ended the Azerbaijan Grand Prix vice versa a week prior.

READ: Sainz told he’s only good enough to be Ferrari’s number two driver

The Austrian boss suggested after the race that his drivers were there or thereabouts in terms of pace with Ferrari and Red Bull.

While Russell agrees that the Brackley-based side are making strong progress, he noted that the pace is still a long way off where it needs to be.

“[Sunday’s race] looked very promising at times, but the actual pace deficit to the front-running car was still pretty substantial,” he explained.

“So, even though it looked on paper to have been a bit of an improvement, we’re still a long way from where we need to be. 

“So we haven’t made a huge amount of progress as yet, but we’re still working as hard as we can to close the gap.”

Hamilton’s rostrum appearance in Montreal was Mercedes’ fifth of the season as Max Verstappen beat Carlos Sainz to victory.