Mercedes aren’t particularly worried by their performance, or rather lack of, at the Singapore Grand Prix, which saw them qualify on the third row as both Ferrari and Red Bull outpaced them.
Whilst Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff isn’t writing off the improvements made by Ferrari and Red Bull, he doubts they’ve made such massive gains and has put his teams disappointing race down to a failure to get the tyres working around the unique Marina Bay street circuit.
“We need to stay calm,” Wolff said on Sunday. “I’m always on the pessimistic side, but I don’t believe we’ve lost car performance from one weekend to the other in a dramatic way like we did, and equally I don’t believe someone found a second and a half from one race to the other.
“It’s the tyre. We spoke to the drivers and the degradation was just massive, which is unexplainable for us.
“So it’s about analysing it. We believe it to be a circuit specific problem with the tyres where we didn’t manage to get the grip.”
The Austrian fully expects Mercedes to be back on dominant form in Japan this weekend.
“This is how you explain these gaps, and we’ll have to prove that in Suzuka.
“But the car is the same, we haven’t lost performance, we just need a methodical approach and to find the right balance.”
Nico Rosberg finished the race in fourth, whilst Lewis Hamilton failed to finish due to a ‘freak’ component failure.