Mercedes not making "dangerous" assumptions about Spa chances

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Mercedes not making
Jonathan Noble
By: Jonathan Noble
Aug 22, 2017, 10:24 AM

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks it would be "dangerous" to assume that his team will be automatic pace-setters when Formula 1 action resumes at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Toto Wolff, Executive Director Mercedes AMG F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Toto Wolff, Executive Director Mercedes AMG F1
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

The high-speed nature of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit appears perfect for the longer-wheelbase characteristics of the Mercedes W08 – with it having excelled on similar types of tracks this year.

But with Ferrari still very much a strong contender, having dominated in Hungary last time out, Wolff says his outfit must take nothing for granted about its potential this weekend.

"On paper, people will assume that Spa should suit our car because it is a circuit where aerodynamic efficiency is extremely important," said Wolff, in reference to the strengths of his car.

"But assumptions are dangerous - we have seen too many times already this season that the form book can be rewritten from one weekend to the next.

"So we will be making no assumptions; we have to tick off the items on our work list and make sure we do the best job to maximise our potential points score.

"The motivation and determination in the factory are greater than ever. Hungary showed the strength of our team - and we intend to use the second half of this season to prove that strength."

Red Bull threat

Although the world championship fight is being fought out exclusively between Mercedes and Ferrari, Wolff is mindful about the growing threat from Red Bull in terms of individual race wins.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit had a disappointing start to the campaign but has gained performance on the back of recent upgrades, and showed particularly strong speed in the race in Hungary.

Wolff added: "From what we have seen in the first half of the season, the competitive balance will swing one way and another from circuit to circuit.

"Red Bull will be a threat if they can build on the performance they showed in Hungary. So we need to keep our heads down, stay humble regarding our strengths, diligent about our weaknesses and take the season weekend by weekend."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Location Spa-Francorchamps
Teams Mercedes Shop Now
Author Jonathan Noble
Article type Breaking news