Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff believes Racing Point could potentially challenge the German team during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Wolff disclosed that the RP20 was stronger than the W11 in certain sections of the race track.
The Austrian also expects the Silverstone outfit to be a “hard nut to crack” at a few other circuits.
In the past, Mercedes have downplayed their dominance and praised the competition, which in reality, was nowhere near the team’s level. Fans remember the classic “Ferrari is faster than us” chant from Wolff and Lewis Hamilton.
What that actually meant, was Mercedes are ready to dominate yet another race and leave the competition far behind.
Toto didn’t deviate from his pre-race ritual this week either, but the prancing horses were not the subject of his praise this time around. Instead, Wolff spoke about the real threat from the “Pink Mercedes” starting just behind the real deal.
Armed effectively with last year’s Championship winning car, Racing Point secured their best-ever start in F1 during qualifying. As impressive as their performance was, both Mercedes cars were comfortably ahead.
With a near 1s gap in qualifying it is unlikely for the Brackley-based outfit to come under any real pressure from Racing Point. However, Toto revealed that Racing Point had a faster car in a few corners of the Hungaroring.
The Austrian opened up about the same while in conversation with Motorsport.com, “All the complaining we heard last year that the smaller teams are never able to compete for podiums and race wins is being shown it’s absurd, because Racing Point is right up there, they are faster in some corners than we are, and it’s a good challenge to see that.
“I have no doubt Racing Point will be a hard nut to crack on some of the circuits for us as well. I’m happy for Racing Point because we were hearing in the past years always that the smaller teams on the smaller budgets were not able to compete at the front.”
It would’ve been a bit much, even by Wolff’s standards, to claim Racing Point was a race-winning team and the Austrian smartly stopped short of overpraising them.
“They seem to have re-engineered our car, they have bought non-listed parts from us last year, and they are just doing a good job.
“The Racing Point is a podium contender, if not a race-winning contender, going forward. It proves that with the right leadership, the right decision-making process, and the right funding you can actually accelerate your development curve.
“So lessons to be learned, and I’m happy to see them there.”