Toto Wolff has said it is all still to play for in the 2021 F1 World Championship and that he remains encouraged by the Mercedes performance at the Styrian Grand Prix despite the deficit to Red Bull at the front.
Sir Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both made the podium last weekend despite being a long way back from race winner Max Verstappen.
With the gap between the constructors in the championship now standing at 40 points after the fourth Red Bull win on the bounce last weekend, the Mercedes team boss said in a statement ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix that the team remained well in the hunt for the championship.
"We had an experimental Friday with the car set-up last weekend, and we hope to arrive to FP1 this weekend with the car in a happier place, ready to build from there," Wolff said
"The tyre compounds are also a step softer this weekend, so that will bring a new challenge for all the teams and fresh possibilities in terms of strategy.
"This championship is a heavyweight contest over 23 rounds, and we're just over a third of the way through. There are many opportunities to come and it's still all to play for, so we're excited for round nine."