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Toto Wolff

Wolff issues warning on replicating McLaren form

After McLaren turned around their season, can Mercedes do the same and challenge for wins this year?

Russell Verstappen Silverstone wet
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff expects it will be difficult for the team to replicate McLaren's turn-around in form in their bid to close the gap to Red Bull.

McLaren introduced significant updates to their car after one of their worst starts to a season in the history of the team, which led to them achieving a top five finish and podium for both cars at Silverstone.

Ferrari Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur, believes they are now firmly in the hunt to unseat Red Bull and fight for victories.

While Mercedes changed their car concept for the W14 with updates introduced at the Monaco Grand Prix, they achieved early success with a double podium at Barcelona but have since failed to replicate that form.

When asked by media, including RacingNews365.com, if Wolff expects Mercedes to produce a similar comeback he calmed expectations: "I think we are restricted by the cost cap and by the relative less amount in wind tunnel.

"McLaren finished further back into championship - they were fifth or sixth - so they carry over more winter tunnel allocation and that's why it's going to difficult.

"Do I believe that we have upgrades in there that got a fundamental change the car? I don't believe so.

"But we have a few small steps that will come and you can see that if you find two or three tenths it puts you in a different position on the on the grid."

Wolff: Teams need to allocate resources the right way

Wolff believes McLaren will still need to prove whether their current concept works consistently across different circuit types, having only ran their updates at the high speed Red Bull Ring and Silverstone.

But the Mercedes boss admits that effective resource management will be key in the tight development battle behind Red Bull.

"We need to see whether they can repeat that performance in Budapest, which is obviously the opposite and what you what you need," he said.

"But this sport is about margin of gains and if you have 20% more wind tunnel time allocation we gain two seconds over a year, that means four tenths.

"So if you have that four tenths or five tenths in additional performance, that's always going to help.

"But still you need to design it the right way and to have the right innovation and where its to put on the card needs to correlate with the [wind] tunnel and the simulation.

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