Mercedes “disappointed” by recent form

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Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff admits the team’s form since the summer break has not been good enough.

The team won three of the five races leading into the summer break but in the three races since have managed just one podium.

“In the three races since the summer break, our team has scored an average of 20 points per grand prix,” said Wolff. “But it’s a measure of our expectations now that we have left each circuit disappointed that we didn’t achieve even more.”

“That’s a feeling we’ll be looking to change this weekend.”

Wolff stated the team’s aim was to beat Ferrari in the constructors’ points standings:

“We have six races to go this season and a clear target of securing second place in the constructors’ championship. To achieve that, we need to maximize every opportunity that comes our way with both Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton], beginning this weekend.”

Mercedes are seven points behind Ferrari. However Korea has not been a kind venue for them in the past – half of their six previous starts have resulted in a retirement due to contact. Michael Schumacher’s fourth place in the first Korean Grand Prix remains their best result in the race.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.