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Wolff is “carefully optimistic” about Mercedes’ chances

Since the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era, which Mercedes has dominated with an iron fist, we have seen an admittedly common trend during grand prix weekends: the Germans left their rivals to the limelight on Fridays before hitting the la classification.

Formula 1 2021 leads it, or so says the championship table and the results of the last appointments, Red Bull, and the roles seem changed. Max Verstappen led a strange FP1 in which bottas was fourth and Hamilton, seventh, both behind the two Ferraris and with the British worse classified than Tsunoda and Raikkonen.

Then, in the second, wet and dry, Mercedes did a double with Hamilton leading and Bottas second, finishing the first day of the Austrian GP in the lead.

“I am carefully optimistic,” he said. Toto Wolff, director of the German team, before recalling that this is how other teams have felt while they stayed in the shade on Fridays. “I think it’s probably the speech that Red Bull has had all these years, I hope tomorrow they get more out of their engine. But we have improved in some of the cornering sequences so that’s hopeful.”

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Both teams are in a constant war of declarations, first on the wings, then on the engine and finally, when Mercedes assured that it would not develop its 2021 car further and Red Bull did not believe it.

This Friday, at the Red Bull Ring, the Mercedes were seen with paraffin on the car, that paint that is used for aerodynamic tests. When the subject was brought up at the subsequent press conference, Wolff explained: “No, the wind tunnel is no longer working for this year’s car. Basically, it’s about understanding part of the flow that we can still see in CFDs. [simulación], but there will be no big changes. There is one more development to be added to the car at Silverstone, but it was obviously already planned. “

With that last sentence Wolff qualified his words and in turn those of Hamilton, who on Thursday contradicted the team’s speech, ensuring that he already knew that there would be an evolution.

He spoke precisely about the champion driver in the next question. And is that Hamilton has returned in recent weeks to the Mercedes simulator, and explained why.

“It was his idea,” Wolff said. “He’s starting to really appreciate the sim that we have and it’s a pleasure to see that he’s really looking forward to coming back. It’s a bit of the mentality of the whole team, which is trying to push hard.”

By last, Wolff Remember that this year everything is decided in small details and that, without incidents of several races, the World Championship would look different.

“The guys don’t need motivation, they are all excited. They are very close. Valtteri could have finished second in Monte Carlo, and we would have been there in the Constructors’ championship. And obviously, after Max had the tire problem in Baku, Lewis could have cattle, “he added.

“Then the drivers’ championship would also be wide open. That is why these things can vary from one race weekend to another,” he concluded.

Some of the best photos from Friday of the 2021 Austrian GP

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

1/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

2/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

3/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

4/30

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

5/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

6/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

7/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

8/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

An Aston Martin engineer on the pit wall

An Aston Martin engineer on the pit wall

9/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

10/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Ferrari SF21 rear wing detail

Ferrari SF21 rear wing detail

11/30

Photo by: Uncredited

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

12/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 Honda Technical Director, at the Team Managers Press Conference

Toyoharu Tanabe, F1 Honda Technical Director, at Team Managers Press Conference

13/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

14/30

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

15/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB16B, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

16/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521, Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521, Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

17/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

18/30

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1

Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1

19/30

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21

20/30

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

21/30

Foto de: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

22/30

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

23/30

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing Test and Reserve Driver

Callum Ilott, Alfa Romeo Racing Test and Reserve Driver

24/30

Foto de: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

25/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521

Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521

26/30

Foto de: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

27/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

28/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

29/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

30/30

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Purcell and Kostyuk take the place of the round of 32 at the expense of Lopez and Bouzkova

Alonso expects more in Austria after his top 10 on Friday