Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Mercedes holds firm on driver equality, says Wolff

Mercedes holds firm on driver equality, says Wolff

So far in 2017, the title battle has been a two-team, two-driver scrap between Ferrari's Vettel and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

The reigning F1 world champions slipped to 25 points behind Ferrari in the world constructors' standings after Sebastian Vettel claimed victory in Monaco - while it was the first time since Spain 2016 that neither Mercedes vehicle made it to the podium - to see the Italian manufacturer take a stranglehold on the title fight.

When asked by Autosport if he felt Mercedes was the underdog given the current state of play, Wolff said: "I like the notion of underdog, because the underdog is the one people want to see win. At the moment it's Ferrari", Wolff said Tuesday.

"We need to rise to the challenge to prove we are the team to beat". This is the reality of the situation now.

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"We have to fight with all that we are worth for every single win, pole position, podium finish and every point", he said. Some of the corrections will be made in the short term, others will take longer.

"We have been dropping in and out of the tyre window, we never had two drivers or two cars over the course of the weekend within that window".

Mercedes responded to its low-key performance by winning the remaining six races in 2015, and had finished on the podium at each race since, aside from last year's Spanish Grand Prix, when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap. We gave ourselves a deadline to address that setback before switching our focus to the next race in Suzuka, which we won.

The Silver Arrows are coming to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend after a disastrous performance in Monaco two weeks ago. Both drivers seem to be equally competitive or uncompetitive and that has been different all through the season for us.

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"I'm expecting an interesting weekend in Canada", added Wolff.

"We're looking forward to Montreal and the chance to bounce back with a strong result and hopefully producing valuable answers to some tough questions in the process". In Monaco, both drivers complained about the tyres going in and out of the "temperature window" and the difficulties of getting both front and rears performing at the same time. "It is just about bringing the tires into the right window and we have a fast vehicle but she doesn't like the tires. Lewis has won a number of times in the past".

Wolff is nonetheless expecting a "tricky race" for Mercedes in Canada, but is boosted by the past form of Hamilton and Bottas at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"It will be about doing our homework right to give the drivers the auto they need to succeed".

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"We have two excellent drivers and we will hold true to our philosophy of letting them race each other to drive the team forward - even if sometimes it can be hard because you can't always have the one who is ahead in the championship winning".

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