Wolff says Mercedes have 'unfinished business' in Spa after two winless years
It’s been a whole three years since Mercedes last won a Grand Prix at Spa. And while most teams could shrug off a gap like that, for a squad as used to winning at the Silver Arrows are, it was enough for Toto Wolff to term the Belgian Grand Prix “unfinished business” for Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton won his third Belgian Grand Prix in 2017 with Mercedes – and the team’s third Belgian win on the trot – but has finished second for the past two years as Ferrari used their power unit advantage to claim consecutive wins, for Sebastian Vettel in 2018 and Charles Leclerc in 2019. But with Ferrari on the back foot in 2020 and Mercedes with the predominant car, the Silver Arrows’ Team Principal was looking to redress the balance.
“We haven’t won [at Spa] since 2017,” said Wolff in the run-up to the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, “so it feels like there’s unfinished business.
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“It’s an iconic track and one of the fans’ favourites, but finding the right set-up can be difficult because of the variety of characteristics; on the one hand you want as little drag as possible on the long straights, but on the other hand, you need a certain level of downforce to be quick through the corners. It’s also forecast to be rainy in the Ardennes, which won’t make the job any easier.”
Wolff spent part of the two-week gap between the Spanish and Belgian Grands Prix putting pen to paper on the new Concorde Agreement. And having previously voiced resistance to some parts of that agreement – which sets out the commercial terms under which the teams will compete in F1 from 2021 to 2025 – Wolff said he was pleased that talks had reached a “positive conclusion”.
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“We have always said that we wanted to stay in F1, so the agreement wasn't necessarily all that surprising,” said Wolff. “But we're happy that we could bring the negotiations to a positive conclusion. We are committed to our sport and we're looking forward to the upcoming years which will see the biggest transition F1 has ever seen. This will reward agile, open-minded teams who can adapt successfully to the demands of the new rules.”
Mercedes go into the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix with a luxurious 86-point lead over nearest rivals Red Bull in the constructors’ standings, having won five out of six Grands Prix so far this year.
Constructors' standings ahead of the Belgian GP
|2 Red Bull Racing||135|
|3 Racing Point||63|
|8 Alfa Romeo Racing||2|
|9 Haas F1 Team||1|