Wolff: No 'silver bullet' behind Mercedes' strong top speed

Toto Wolff says there is no clever "silver bullet" behind the strong straight-line speed of Mercedes' W12, dismissing... The post Wolff: No 'silver bullet' behind Mercedes' strong top speed appeared first on F1i.com.

Wolff: No 'silver bullet' behind Mercedes' strong top speed

Toto Wolff says there is no clever "silver bullet" behind the strong straight-line speed of Mercedes' W12, dismissing as "noise" Red Bull's claim to the contrary.

As Mercedes and Red Bull battle it out at the top of the field along with their star drivers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, intrigue has set in regarding the Brackley squad's recent upswing in form.

Hamitlon and teammate Valtteri Bottas shared wins in the last two races, with Mercedes' car leaving its Red Bull rival in its wake in Russia and in Turkey, where the Black Arrow's velocity sparked once again the curiosity of the bulls.

"Their straightline speed has taken a significant step recently, and I think that whereas we could match them with smaller wings previously, now we can't get near," confessed a mystified Christian Horner.

The Red Bull team boss doubted that Mercedes' recent gains were engine-related, alluding to a clever ploy embedded in the W12 that boosted its velocity on the straights in Turkey.

"I think that Mercedes are obviously optimising a straightline device that they're able to do at that type of circuit," Horner told Sky in Austin during FP1.

"If you look at the rear of their car, you know, how it lowers. I think [Turkey] played to their strengths."

However, on Friday, Wolff dismissed Horner's suggestion as "noise" and pointed to set-up improvements achieved by Mercedes that have put its car in a "sweet spot".

"I think we recognise absolutely that this is a sport where competitors will always try to find out if there is some kind of silver bullet," explained the Austrian.

"My experience is there is no such thing, it’s all the small gains, marginal gains that have been added and bring performance.

  • Read also: Mercedes 'hanging on for dear life' amid engine reliability issues

"We’re trying to really comprehend our car better and add performance in lap time without listening too much to the noise.

"I think what we have been able to understand is how to hit the sweet spot of the car, in terms of the set-up," added Wolff.

"Today when you look at the lap time, it’s a straight-line gain, and I think we found the right compromise between drag and downforce.

"And on the other side, we were very quick through the very fast corners, which is good and equal to Red Bull on the slow corners. So overall, the car is much better together."

Ahead of Sunday's US Grand Prix and with six races to go, Verstappen leads Hamilton in the Drivers' standings by just six points while Mercedes tops the Constructors' championship with a 36.5 point advantage over Red Bull.

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Hamilton, Norris defend 'Drive to Survive' after Verstappen snub

Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, among others, have come out in defense of 'Drive to Survive' following Max... The post Hamilton, Norris defend 'Drive to Survive' after Verstappen snub appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton, Norris defend 'Drive to Survive' after Verstappen snub

Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, among others, have come out in defense of 'Drive to Survive' following Max Verstappen's criticism of the popular Netflix series.

Ahead of this weekend's US Grand Prix in Austin, Verstappen revealed that he won't be appearing in Season 4 of 'Drive to Survive', having refused to lend his character to a series that peddles "fake" narratives.

"From my side as a driver, I don’t like being part of it," he told the AP. "They faked a few rivalries which don’t really exist.

"So I decided to not be a part of it and did not give any more interviews after that because then there is nothing you can show."

The acclaimed series which chronicles the F1 season with a fly-on-the-wall and behind-the-scenes approach has boosted F1's profile in the US and helped attract a younger global demographic to the sport.

Contrary to Verstappen, McLaren's Lando Norris says he was "fine" with how 'Drive to Survive' tells F1's inside stories.

"I think it’s a cool thing," said the Briton. "Coming to America there are so many people who are now into Formula 1 just because of watching ‘Drive to Survive.’ I think I come across on it alright.

"I think they do a good job. I can’t really speak on behalf of Max."

  • Read also: Verstappen won't take part in 'fake' Drive to Survive

Red Bull's Sergio Perez also praised the series' "tremendous" contribution to Grand Prix racing's notoriety despite the somewhat fabricated drama.

"First of all, I really respect Drive to Survive because what it has done for Formula 1 is tremendous. It’s really something I appreciate.

"Honestly, at the beginning I didn’t think it was that big or that important for our sport and then secondly, yeah, they probably create some drama.

"The way they sell the sport is a bit of a drama. It is a show but at the end of the day, it is good for the sport and is good for the fans so I am happy with it."

©Instagram/LewisHamilton

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton believes that Formula 1 owes its rise in popularity in the US in part to 'Drive to Survive'.

The Mercedes driver says he has personally noted a shift in perception regarding F1 from fans and friends in the US.

"My first race in the US here was in 2007, but I had already been to a NASCAR race, seeing how it is. I have been to an NFL game, an NBA game, and they are just crazy about sports over here," said Hamilton.

"There is never enough sports. They always want more, more action. The progress I have seen over these years has been huge.

"Of course in these last couple of years it has been the steepest rise and more and more people are talking about it, and more and more people are engaging.

"The amount of emails and messages I get from people who I have known for years in the States but never knew what I was doing and are now hooked and cannot wait to come.

"I think a lot of them are coming this weekend, so I think that is only a good thing and it is great to see that response."

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The post Hamilton, Norris defend 'Drive to Survive' after Verstappen snub appeared first on F1i.com.

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