Mercedes looking to increase advantage in Spain
The Brackley-based outfit has so far dominated the 2014 season and heads to the first European round with a 97-point lead over Red Bull Racing in the constructors’ standings. The team has won all four races so far and has registered three consecutive 1-2 finishes.
However, with Mercedes – like all other teams – bringing major upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff doesn’t just want the team to maintain the gap to those behind.
“We are now four races into the 2014 season and hold a strong position in both championships,” he said. “However, the first European round of the year always provides a prime opportunity for teams to arrive with improvements to their cars.
“Of course, we are no different to any other team in that respect and our aim must be to increase the advantage we enjoyed at the last race in China. We have seen already that our rivals are relentless in their efforts to close the gap.
“As a team, it is up to us to rise to that challenge: to take that relentless mentality to an even greater extent than those around us. If we are to build a sustained level of success in this sport, any small advantage must be seen as a platform upon which to build a bigger advantage.
He added: “We head to Barcelona on good form and in high spirits. But, most importantly, we approach the next race weekend as we approached the first: in the knowledge that there is still a long season ahead and anything can happen.”
Despite enjoying a substantial lead, executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe says the team has been working flat-out to improve the W05. “Aside from being the first European race of the season, Barcelona is classically seen as the first big milestone for upgrades from the teams and we can expect to see quite a range of developments throughout the pit lane,” he said.
“The circuit itself is highly demanding on the cars: arguably requiring the best combination of power, handling and aerodynamics seen during the entire season. It’s often said that a car which performs well in Barcelona will be a great car for the season, so we’re looking forward to seeing where we stand relative to the competition.
“There has been no sense of complacency or backing off just because our car has shown strong performance in the opening few races. The objective is to not only match, but to better the development rate of our rivals and to build on our lead in both championships.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.