Suzuka to challenge Mercedes package

2022 Singapore Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton
2022 Singapore Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes that the Suzuka circuit will give the W13 “some challenges” as the 2022 Formula 1 season reaches the 18th round of the season.

After Lewis Hamilton’s first top three start of the year in Singapore, the defending Constructors’ Champions left Marina Bay with just two-points as Hamilton slumped to ninth and George Russell had a messy race following an engine change ahead of the Grand Prix.

“Our target is to rebuild the momentum we had before Singapore and capitalize on the underlying performance of the car,” stated Wolff, 50.

“There are still five opportunities to score good points and end the year strongly,” the Austrian added.

Mercedes 2022 season has been blighted by an unpredictable car, which has suffered heavily from bouncing and a high sensitivity to bumps.

Mercedes have won every race in Japan since 2014, with Valtteri Bottas winning in 2019, F1’s last visit to Japan, but Wolff tempered expectations, saying:

“Suzuka will give our package some challenges, and it will be hard to repeat the qualifying performance we saw in Singapore.

“I hope that will be balanced out with a stronger Sunday afternoon.”

While Wolff admitted that Sunday’s race in Singapore was a difficult day, he claimed there were still positives to take as the car showed competitiveness in free air.

Mercedes lost a lot of ground to Ferrari as the Brackley-based team try to chase down the Italian’s for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

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