Mercedes needs a car that ‘both drivers can push’ – Wolff

Toto Wolff says Mercedes needs to field a car that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas can “confidently” push to the limit.

Mercedes heads to the French Grand Prix on the back of two disappointing displays that yielded just seven points relative to the 62-point haul enjoyed by championship rival Red Bull.

While Monaco and Baku’s street circuits were venues that did not cater to the Brackley squad’s W12, at least one Mercedes driver managed to perform reasonably at each track.

But Wolff, who qualified his team’s recent performances as “unacceptable”, insists the German outfit will only remain a championship contender if it can supply a car that performs well in the hands of both its drivers.

“We come off the back of two street circuits unsuited to our car, two circuits we knew would be difficult for us, and we were disappointed to lose a podium finish and a victory through our own mistakes,” Wolff said in Mercedes’ French Grand Prix preview.

“That frustration reflects the high standards we hold ourselves to, and it is what drives us forward.

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“In Monaco and Baku we put the W12 in a window where only one of our drivers found the confidence to unlock the performance of the car – Valtteri in Monaco and Lewis in Baku.

“In such a close, intense title fight, we need to deliver a car at each race which both our drivers can confidently push to its limits.”

    Read also: Wolff wrong to ‘roast’ Mercedes team in public – Horner

Wolff believes that F1’s return to a traditional track next weekend coupled with Mercedes’ past performances at Paul Ricard bode well for the team’s prospects.

“The French Grand Prix means returning to a more traditional circuit and hopefully, better fortunes for us,” commented the Austrian.

“It is a track we’ve gone well at in the past and, with a wide range of corner speeds that will test the car in every aspect, it’s an interesting challenge for us to tackle.

“We’re six races into the season and there’s still a long way to go. It’s looking very close at the front and we’re not expecting that to change anytime soon.

“We’ll be looking to turn our learnings from recent weeks into performance and to deliver a much stronger weekend with both cars.”

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