Wolff: Singapore to favour Ferrari, Red Bull
10:08 – Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has emphasised that he expects the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the venue for the Singapore Grand Prix, to favour rivals Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes has this season set the pace at high-speed tracks, with an emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency, but struggled at low-speed, tight and twisty circuits.
Montréal, Silverstone and Monza yielded 1-2 finishes for the Silver Arrows, while Ferrari locked out the top two positions in Monte-Carlo and at the Hungaroring.
Ahead of this weekend’s night-time event, Wolff commented: “So far this year, we have seen the pendulum swing according to circuit type.
“On the surface, Singapore is the kind of circuit that should favour both Ferrari and Red Bull.
“Both have shown strong performance on low-speed circuits demanding maximum downforce, and we have found life more difficult at those places in 2017.
“Sometimes, characteristics like this are simply in the DNA of a car.
“Nevertheless, we learned a lot from our struggles in Monaco, raised our level of performance significantly in Hungary and we have made good progress in understanding what we need to do in order to get the most from the chassis.”
Mercedes failed to finish on the podium in Singapore in 2015, a weekend that Wolff described as “character building”, before bouncing back to win the following season.
But although encouraged by Mercedes’ gains at the track, Wolff is aware that it still poses a “big challenge”.
“Identifying clearly our strengths and our weaknesses has been a strength of our team in recent seasons,” he explained.
“As we have pushed to become better and stronger in every area, we have put the finger in the wound in order to understand the root causes of both our good performances and the bad ones.
“In 2015, Singapore provided us with one of the most painful experiences in recent seasons, so we rolled up the sleeves, learned from it and managed to bounce back with a great win last year.
“But notwithstanding that success, this is a circuit we have found difficult to master with its combination of short, sharp corners, relatively short straights and bumpy surface.
“And we head to Asia this time round with the expectation that we have a big challenge ahead of us.”
Mercedes leads Ferrari by 62 points in the standings.Full story