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Toto Wolff

Wolff warns Red Bull: We have two cars that can run different strategies

Toto Wolff has said Mercedes may have a strategic advantage for Sunday's Dutch Grand Prix, given that they have two cars able to run differing strategies towards the front.

Hamilton Zandvoort
To news overview © Mercedes

Toto Wolff has pointed out that Mercedes have the luxury of being able to use differing strategies on their two cars in a bid to put extra pressure on Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Verstappen starts his home race from pole position, with Lewis Hamilton lining up alongside for Mercedes after a last gasp effort saw the reigning World Champion fall just 0.038s shy of taking top spot.

"I think he outperformed the car, because that was a mega lap," Wolff told Sky Sports, after Hamilton had been 0.3s down on Verstappen at the end of the first runs.

With Hamilton taking P2 and Valtteri Bottas in P3, Mercedes can now prepare for a double-pronged attack on Verstappen, as Red Bull's Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q1 – a point Wolff took great pains to emphasise when speaking to media.

"We're P2 and P3, that's a good starting point," he said.

"I think we need to be satisfied with where we ended up. Lewis missed out a lot yesterday on running and then, at the end, he put one lap together.

"I think if we're able to have the same pace in the race, it's gonna be about survival on a one-stop. Max needs to make a decision, is he going for a one-stop or is he going for two.

"But I think we can play both strategies tomorrow and we've seen that two cars that can actually go totally different and suddenly we'll be pitting one, undercutting, massive pressure leaving the other out, and then finishing one-two!"

But Wolff did point out that Red Bull may not be completely isolated, given the performance of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly to secure fourth on the grid, adding: "Yeah, they have Gasly, so they have a shadow car."

The last time Verstappen and Hamilton started from the front row together, it ended in tears at Copse corner at Silverstone as the two title rivals collided, and Wolff said that he is hopeful of a clean race in front of the Dutch fans.

"Well, I think if something were to happen tomorrow, even if we're not at fault, they would be flaring those orange things at us!" he commented.

"I hope we have a great race. They were super fair, the public also, there was no booing, and it's just a great atmosphere here. So let's hope for a great race."

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