Wolff: Mercedes must stay focused
26 March 2014 – Mercedes must not let one percent of its effort drop if it is to remain competitive and at the head of the pack, team boss Toto Wolff has said ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg won the season opener in Australia two weeks ago after putting in a dominant display in his Mercedes F1 W05. However team-mate and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton had a far less successful afternoon and was forced to retire early on due to a misfiring cylinder.
“The first race in Australia left us with mixed emotions,” Wolff stated ahead of the second round in the 2014 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. “Neither of our drivers put a foot wrong all weekend but unfortunately only one came away with the result he deserved. We know that reliability will be crucial to this long season and we have been working hard to improve the situation for the race in Malaysia.
"We made a solid start to the year in Melbourne, but we are very aware that not one percent of effort can be dropped if we are to remain competitive.”
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes Executive Director Technical, meanwhile echoed those thoughts in his own pre-race comments.
“While we were pleased to come away from Melbourne with a win, we were also left with plenty to think about. As is to be expected with such new technology, we are learning more about the car with every lap. This inevitably brings more problems to the surface, all of which require careful management. Our priority has therefore been to arrive in Malaysia in better shape mechanically than we left Australia,” he continued.
“This race presents a very different set of challenges [compared to Melbourne] in terms of both the climate and the demands of the circuit layout. Sepang is a permanent race track which is generally a lot more differentiating of the cars; particularly with regard to aerodynamics. As always, reliability and endurance will be crucial, but we believe this venue will provide a more accurate representation of the relative pace between teams. It should be an interesting weekend,” Lowe concluded.