Wolff: British GP showed Mercedes can't be complacent

Ruben Hill
August 14, 2020

"All the records are due to be broken". The best historically had been Alain Prost's 6 victories at the French Grand Prix.

After the race, Red Bull reported that Verstappen's tyres had also been "right on the limit" when they made a decision to pit him with two laps remaining so that he could go for a fastest lap bonus point.

Aren't all the Formula 1 machines fast? The surprise this season is just how much Ferrari lags behind Mercedes and is slipping down the rankings relative to the other teams too. The 35-year-old somehow managed to drag the auto over the line, as sparks kept flying underneath his vehicle, just five seconds ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon both pulled off some brilliant and daring passes on their way to fourth and sixth places respectively to land what is statistically the French manufacturer's second-best result since it returned to F1 as a works outfit in 2016.

"He judged it to perfection to win the race by a few seconds and a brilliant example of the fantastic talents and bravery of Lewis".

"That was a race where I was in the lead and I managed to hang on to win".

"But the auto is getting better, it's more predictable, so if we can keep in touch then there is always a chance".

The Dutchman zoomed past the stricken Bottas to inherit second, but with the Finn no threat behind and Hamilton too far ahead to attack, he dived into the pits for a set of soft tyres to score a bonus point for fastest lap.

But data provided by Mercedes showed Hamilton completed the final lap 22 seconds slower than his penultimate one. Hamilton didn't panic and held his nerve. The auto was still turning, and the last lap I started to back off and then the tyre deflated. "Just driving it, trying to keep the speed up".

For the error he copped a five-second penalty and was forced to make an early stop to change tyres.

The future of F1, after Hamilton, may indeed lie in the hands of the relative youngsters, LeClerc and Verstappen.

While the second Austrian race was called the Styrian GP, based on the location of the circuit, F1 has opted to celebrate its 70th year of grand prix world championship racing at the track which hosted the series' first race in 1950.

The Frenchman was unfortunate not to make it into Q2 for the third successive race after posting an identical lap time to Lance Stroll's Racing Point on Saturday, before he turned in a gritty performance in the race. It's a test of a great driver surely to succeed against the odds.

"We've had a week at Silverstone now so everyone knows what they're doing around the track, so let's see if we can learn even more about the vehicle and try to improve it further".

The rear tyre compounds were altered for the German Grand Prix that followed that race, with a new compound subsequently introduced for the remainder of the 2013 season.

But speaking after Sunday's race, the 35-year-old demanded a greater challenge from his rivals. By the time the centenary anniversary comes around the history of LeClerc and Verstappen and Hamilton will already have been written.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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