Mercedes oozing ‘calm determination’ ahead of Russian GP

After the drama it endured at Monza, the Mercedes team heads to the Russian Grand Prix with a sense of calm determination says Toto Wolff.

The Brackley squad saw its chances of clinching a race win in Italy squandered by a mid-race clash between Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The run-in between the two title protagonists paved the way for a sensational McLaren 1-2 while Valtteri Bottas upheld Mercedes’ honor by stepping on to the podium.

But overall, it was “bittersweet” weekend for the reigning world champions.

“After a demanding and intense triple-header, we are reenergised and ready to go,” said Wolff in Mercedes ahaed of this week’s round of racing at Sochi.

“Last time out in Monza was bittersweet – a commanding performance and strong result for Valtteri but a feeling of missed points for Lewis, who had the potential to fight for the win.

“The pleasing thing is that the W12 looks competitive and with just eight races to go, now is the time to use our experience and focus on the details and processes which will get us over the line.”

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To say that Mercedes has always gone well at Russia’s F1 venue would be an understatement as the German manufacturer has prevailed in every single Russian Grand Prix held along the shores of the Black Sea since the event’s inclusion in the world championship in 2014.

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“We’re looking forward to racing again in Russia, it is a circuit we’ve gone well at over the years and both our drivers have enjoyed great results in Sochi,” added Wolff.

“We’re hoping to continue our run of success in Russia but know that this year is an entirely different beast, and we’re expecting another intense weekend.

“Last year, this race was one of the first to welcome fans back to the grandstands and it was incredible to feel the passion and buzz of the crowds again.

“We’ve just been treated to fantastic support in Spa, Zandvoort and Monza, and this weekend will be no different.”

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Hamilton will be gunning for a fifth career victory at Sochi while Bottas has won twice in Russia, the Finn collecting his second win in 2020.

“Our aim is to pull together a strong weekend, starting in FP1 and building one session at a time,” said Wolff.

“Lewis is in the tenth championship battle of his F1 career, and he is laser focused on what he needs to deliver in the next eight races.

“As for Valtteri, he’s driving better than ever, like we saw in Monza – and he will be flat out every weekend.

“There’s a calm determination about the team right now and the business end of a season, fighting for championships, is exactly what we enjoy the most.”

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