On the British circuit, the top team was supreme for years. Team boss Toto Wolff points out that Mercedes has two irons in the fire with both Lewis Hamilton (starting second) and Valtteri Bottas (third) to attack Verstappen. His teammate Sergio Pérez will start from the pit lane after a big spin in the sprint race and will probably not play a significant role.
“That is certainly a big advantage,” says Wolff. “We can choose different tire sets and different strategies. I also think we have the speed. If Lewis had held his position, we would probably have seen a similar sprint race, but with a Mercedes in the front. Lewis was able to follow Max for a long time.” Mercedes is faster on the straights than Red Bull this weekend. That team actually gains a lot of time back in the corners, because it drives with more wings.
Wolff is also very pleased with the experiment with sprint races, which will be followed up twice this year. “You can still argue about the entire format, for example with regard to Saturday training,” says the Austrian. “But it gives the fans more entertainment. For example, four times a year I would be fine. Not every week, given the unexpected nature. You see that now, for example, with Pérez, who would normally have qualified much better.”
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