F1: Wolff wary of ‘potential for carnage’ at start of Mexican GP
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is wary of “the potential for carnage” at the start of today’s Mexican Grand Prix, given the grid order.
Red Bull locked out the front row on Saturday with Daniel Ricciardo pipping teammate Max Verstappen to pole by just 0.026s. Lewis Hamilton will start from third place alongside Sebastian Vettel, and while Red Bull has shown competitive pace throughout the weekend, the long run to Turn 1 is not a strength for the team.
“The grid has the potential for carnage on the straight and through the first corners, because you have the two Red Bulls who have the least straight-line speed on the front row, and then it’s us and then the Ferraris are obviously almost 10kph up on everyone else,” said Wolff (pictured above, middle, with technical director James Allison, left, and chief race engineer Andy Shovlin). “I try to visualize how that could be like down the straight (opens arms out wide) and through the first corner — I just hope we come out of it with two cars intact.”
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Hamilton suggested Mercedes allowed itself to be influenced by Vettel’s position in the last race at Circuit of The Americas rather than focusing on simply getting the best race result, and even with only a top-seven finish required for Hamilton to become champion, Wolff insists the bigger title picture should not come into Mercedes’ thinking.
“Luckily I forget quickly about the past, because we suffered too much. I think … it’s having the mindset of really extracting the best performance out of every single day. I’m happy with what we have achieved (in qualifying), and now it’s about carrying it through.
“We have it in our hands in that having a good result with Lewis, that could be the decisive result for his championship. But it is not done yet.
“We mustn’t drop the ball. It’s about carrying the ball over the line, and this exercise needs to happen and in Brazil. This is why I don’t want to think too much — none of us want to think too much — about the championship, but just really concentrate on the task at hand.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.