Toto Wolff sets Lewis Hamilton target at ‘special weekend’

Mercedes, with their new and improved W14, continue to build upon recent successes as Toto Wolff looks ahead to the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is full of optimism ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, eager to build upon momentum at his home race.

“Austria is always a special weekend, as it’s my home race and I have good memories from the track; both with the team but also from my early years racing there and teaching as an instructor,” he said.

“It’s also the second Sprint of the season so it will be interesting to see the impact it has on the weekend, at a more traditional circuit.

“It’s a short lap in Spielberg and looks straightforward on paper; several long straights broken up by a range of slow, medium-speed and fast corners. But it’s a challenging one to put together and get right.”

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have both secured race wins in Austria for the Silver Arrows, with the last coming in 2020.

Last year the race was won by Ferrari man Charles Leclerc.

It is clear in the words of Toto that the mood at Mercedes is improving.

Hamilton has secured back-to-back podiums and appears comfortable in the upgraded W14, now 15 points off third-placed Fernando Alonso in the driver’s championship.

Article continues below

George Russell has continued his strong start with Mercedes but experienced misfortune in Canada after the Briton was forced to retire.

However, Russell is undoubtedly in contention to make the top three, residing in 6th place three points off Carlos Sainz in 5th.

Russell joined Hamilton on the podium at the Spanish Grand Prix where Mercedes produced their best result of the season with a 2-3 finish.

Toto Wolff has helped instate an air of positivity throughout the Mercedes camp as the team continues to hunt down Red Bull.

“There were plenty of positives to take from the last race in Canada,” he said.

READ: Aston Martin spark ‘reality check’ for rival team

“Although we didn’t get both cars to the chequered flag, a podium was a solid result and we saw encouraging signs from our updated package.

“We will aim to build on the momentum we have generated over the past two races and continue our positive trajectory with the car. It’s a venue where the W14 should perform better than in Canada, but we won’t take anything for granted.

“As always, we will be working hard to maximise our performance and deliver strong results.”