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Toto Wolff

Mercedes' 'bold' Singapore strategy call has Wolff impressed

Mercedes will have a tyre advantage over its rivals for the start of the race in Singapore.

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Toto Wolff has expressed confidence over George Russell and Mercedes' strategic advantage for the Singapore Grand Prix over pole-sitter Carlos Sainz's Ferrari.

By opting to save two fresh sets of Medium tyres for the race, the team was forced to navigate qualifying with just four sets of Soft tyres.

Mercedes was almost caught out by the strategy, as it took its final laps in Q1 on a used tyre.

However, it safely progressed into Q3, with George Russell producing a lap strong enough to place him onto the front row of the grid behind pole-sitter Carlos Sainz just 0.072s.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Wolff explained the team’s "bold" commitment.

"The decision was taken by our strategic team," he said.

"[It is] bold to try and save a Soft in qualifying but we made it. If it is a one-stop then we have a second option to play.

"It's a great tyre for Safety Cars, for red flags, or gives us much more options than when you only have used Softs in your arsenal."

‘Mercedes not favourite for victory’

Despite the tyre advantage, Wolff does not believe that his squad is the favourite for the race victory.

The Brackley-based squad has arguably its best chance yet to claim a win this year, with runaway leaders Red Bull starting outside the top 10.

But Wolff says that Mercedes is staying reserved with its expectations of taking a Grand Prix victory.

"I would never after such a season, because we are on the front row, call ourselves the favourite," he said.

"I think we need to be humble about the situation. The result generally comes as a surprise that we are P2 and P5 with another tyre available tomorrow.

"But I think for a win, it is a different story. But we’ll give it everything and go full attack."

F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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