Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes boss reveals Belgian Grand Prix ‘difficulty’

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ respective garages will have their work cut out to find the right setups for their Mercedes this weekend, says team principal Toto Wolff. The reigning F1 champions arrive at the Belgian Grand Prix in good spirits having secured five wins from the first six races of 2020.

Hamilton leads the World Drivers’ Championship standings by 37 points and is on course to get his hands on a record-equalling seventh title this season.

The Brit has triumphed three times at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps during his illustrious F1 career, with two of those victories coming en route to his third and fourth championships respectively.

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However, Mercedes have not picked up a win in the Belgian countryside for the past two seasons and Wolff admits it will be tricky finding the right balance for their W11s.

The Austrian believes the 4.352 mile circuit offers a real test to the engineers and aerodynamicists who will be looking to give Hamilton and Bottas an advantage over their rivals.

“Our next race takes us to Spa where we haven’t won since 2017, so it feels like there’s unfinished business as we head to Belgium,” said Wolff.

“It’s an iconic track and one of the fans’ favourites, but finding the right setup 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.”

Mercedes came out on top at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month as Hamilton led from lights out to secure his fifth career win at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Wolff is proud of the way his team bounced back from the previous week’s disappointment to assert their superiority once again.

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And he’ll be hoping for more of the same as Mercedes attempt to fend off Red Bull and co. at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

“We really saw our team’s mindset come to life in Spain,” said Wolff. “After struggling in Silverstone, we analysed our problems and tried to come to the right conclusions within just a few days.

“A lot of people worked tirelessly so that we could have a better race in Barcelona and our strong performance on Sunday was the outcome of that effort.

“Winning in Spain was a great reward for all the smart work in the days before and it makes me very proud to see how this team just keeps raising the bar.”

Mercedes lead the World Constructors’ Championship by 86 points, while Hamilton’s team-mate Bottas is third in the drivers’ standings.

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