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F1 News: Mercedes Chief Positive For Saudi Arabia Despite "Underwhelming" Bahrain GP

Toto Wolff confirms the team with "continue their learning" at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff described the team's performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix as "underwhelming". Despite entering the weekend with high hopes, the team faced unforeseen challenges that compromised their race strategy. As the team looks ahead to Saudi Arabia, Wolff confirms they will "continue our learning".

Key takeaways:

  • Toto Wolff expressed disappointment over Mercedes' performance in Bahrain, citing issues with cooling performance that impacted the car's tyre temperatures.
  • The Bahrain Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton facing energy recovery issues, and George Russell reporting potential engine overheating, among other setbacks.
  • Wolff remains optimistic about the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, highlighting it as an opportunity for Mercedes to better understand their car's capabilities on a different track.
Toto Wolff - Mercedes

Mercedes Press Image

Mercedes CEO Toto Wolff opened up about the team's struggles at the Bahrain Grand Prix, setting a reflective tone ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

"Our race in Bahrain was best described as underwhelming. We were hopeful of a stronger showing after our performance in practice and qualifying," Wolff stated in a press release from the team. 

Both Mercedes drivers had entered the weekend with confidence, buoyed by the W15's stability and balance. However, as Wolff elaborated:

"Both drivers were pleased with the balance earlier in the weekend, and the more stable platform provided by the W15. Unfortunately on Saturday evening, our cooling performance didn't match our predictions.

"That forced us into management mode early on, which had the knock-on impact of reducing tyre temperatures below optimum.

"That cost us the opportunity to show something closer to our true potential. It was a frustrating way to start the season but one we will learn from."

Mercedes W15

The Bahrain Grand Prix also witnessed Lewis Hamilton encountering significant energy recovery problems by lap 17, momentarily hampering his performance. This was attributed to a rapid depletion of the battery, necessitating a recharge in the subsequent lap. Meanwhile, George Russell found himself overtaken by Sainz following a report of a potential engine overheating issue on lap 18. Adding to the team's woes, Hamilton reported a broken seat by lap 25, further illustrating the array of challenges Mercedes faced during the race.

Despite these setbacks, Wolff remains forward-looking, viewing the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as a fresh opportunity. He continued:

"We've got an opportunity to take a step forward immediately. Jeddah is a street track with a lot of high-speed content.

"It will be good to continue our learning with the new car on a very different circuit to Bahrain.

"We will be aiming for a more consistent weekend and to understand our true performance relative to the rest of the grid."

In addition to focusing on their own performance, Mercedes is set to embrace the F1 Academy's debut in Saudi Arabia. Wolff concluded:

"It will also be great to see F1 Academy on the support bill in Saudi Arabia for their opening round. For the first time, we will be involved as a team.

"We're excited to watch our junior driver Doriane Pin in action and look forward to supporting the championship across the year."

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