Toto Wolff says his Mercedes squad is eager to resume at Spa its title battle with rival Red Bull, which he insists is “far from over”.
Mercedes regained the upper hand in the Constructors’ championship before F1’s summer break, having outscored Red Bull at Silverstone and at the Hungaroring, albeit with circumstances and luck lending a helping hand.
Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen by just 8 points in the Driver’s standings, while Mercedes’ advantage over Red Bull stands at 12 points, despite the Milton Keynes-based outfit scoring more wins this season than its opponent, or six victories versus four for Mercedes.
“This has definitely been one of the most intense F1 seasons that I can remember, so far,” said Wolff in the Brackley team’s Belgian Grand Prix preview.
“The battle is far from over and after a few weeks away from the track, we’re all really excited to get back to work.
“The shutdown is such an important time for the entire team. The chance to relax and recharge is invaluable, especially with such a busy second half of the season coming up, and the fight we have ahead of us.
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“We’re all racers at heart though, so while we enjoyed the well-deserved time off, we’re also eager to get back to doing what we love: racing!”
Since the start of the hybrid era in F1, Mercedes has won four times at Spa, while Red Bull’s last win on the Ardennes track dates back to Daniel Ricciardo’s triumph in 2014.
Regardless of which team or driver prevails next weekend at Spa, Wolff insists its still a long road to Abu Dhabi.
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“We head to Spa-Francorchamps in a good position,” said the Austrian. “We lead both Championships and the W12 feels in a better place, after the upgrades introduced at Silverstone and an encouraging showing in Hungary.
“But we know there is a long road ahead and so much can still happen in this season of ups and downs.
“Spa is a track that we all know and love, one of the true F1 classics with its iconic corners, long-flat out sections and beautiful scenery.
“It’s a hugely challenging track for both the drivers and the cars, with the longest lap of the season, lots of elevation change and some very high g-forces.
“The weather is also notoriously unpredictable at Spa and always throws a curveball our way. With the Belgian Grand Prix always producing exciting and fun racing, it’s the perfect place to start the second half of the season. Bring it on!”
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