Mercedes may have dominated the 2014 F1 season so far, but some scares in the last two races have taught the team not to take anything for granted despite its sizeable advantage.
In Canada, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were hit with an ERS failure that caused their pace to drop considerably. Hamilton was forced to retire from the race because of the problem, and although Rosberg managed the issue and came home in second place, it did mark the team’s first loss in 2014 as Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden grand prix victory.
Although the team bounced back in Austria with its sixth one-two finish of the season, both drivers were once again hit with a brake issue that left Rosberg relieved to see the checkered flag and claim the race win.
“We were delighted to get another top result in Austria,” team boss Toto Wolff explained. “Our weekend in Spielberg was one of the toughest so far this season, with a qualifying performance which did not match our expectations. To bounce back with another one-two finish was highly satisfying – particularly as our rivals pushed us harder than ever throughout the race.
“This demonstrates once again how crucial it is to remain 100% focused on the task at hand. We can afford no mistakes if we are to achieve our goals, as there will always be someone waiting to punish those mistakes.”
The British Grand Prix takes place just a few miles from Mercedes’ factories, making it a ‘home race’ for those working at the team.
“We now head to Silverstone, one of the highlights of the year for the team,” Wolff said. “For the hundreds of people at Brackley and Brixworth it provides an opportunity to see the results of hard work in action on the track. Our drivers are both particularly strong at this circuit and we can expect another tightly contested battle between the two of them.
“Equally, many of our rivals see this as their home race and will be highly motivated to gain an advantage. There are certain teams in particular who have a record of success here, so we are taking nothing for granted. It is up to us to ensure that our motivation is the highest of all as we look to put on a show for the incredible Silverstone crowds.”
Both Rosberg and Hamilton will be chasing their second British Grand Prix victory next weekend, setting the stage for another fascinating battle between the Silver Arrows at the front of the field.