With four podiums in the last four races, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is happy with the progress being made, and believes their understanding of the tricky W13 is growing every week.
‘Third and fourth in Austria was a satisfying result for the whole team, particularly given the position we were in on Friday evening. The team worked miracles to have two complete race cars ready for the Sprint and Grand Prix. 27 points on Sunday were a good reward for that effort.
‘We scored three podiums in the first seven races, and we have now achieved four in the last four. I’m pleased with the momentum we are building, and it reflects the mammoth effort of the team. Our understanding of the W13 is growing with every lap and it’s encouraging to see that reflected in our development and results.
‘While we were quicker in Austria, we still weren’t quick enough to challenge at the front. We need to keep chasing those final few tenths and bringing new developments to the cars, including this weekend in France.
‘Paul Ricard is a very different track and challenge. It has smooth tarmac and a wide range of corner types, along with long straights. The aim will be to make further inroads on the gap to the front and hopefully be back on the podium.
‘Nyck is replacing Lewis in first practice this weekend, as part of the allocated sessions for young drivers this year. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how he gets on,’ said Wolff.
Nyck de Vries will be driving in place of Lewis Hamilton in FP1. Over the course of the season, each driver is required to give up one of their first practice sessions for a young driver. Lewis has selected FP1 in France for his session, and George Russell’s will take place later in the season.