Formula 1 Austria 2019: Like a machine

When Formula 1 makes a stop in Spielberg at its European Games, I immediately hear the song “Maschin” by the Austrian band Bilderbuch. Although an Italian sports car plays the leading role in the music video, the two Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ cars are currently running the most like well-oiled machines.

Eight races, eight victories for Mercedes AMG Petronas. Six times, most recently in France, Lewis was at the top of the podium and now leads the World Championship with 187 points.

No time to rest at Formula 1 in Austria

Every cog in our team currently interlocks as smoothly as in a well-oiled machine. The concept of the car with its smaller angle of attack compared to the competitors, which works fantastically on all tracks. The meticulousness of our engineers in fine-tuning the individual track profiles. The incredible performances of Lewis and Valtteri. And last but not least the mood in the team, which is getting better and better with every victory.

However, it’s common knowledge that pride comes before the fall. That’s why Lewis immediately warned after his victory last Sunday to stay hungry. Our team boss Toto is also sounding this horn:

It would be complacent to ignore the fact that our mechanics have now had to perform the equivalent of an ‘open-heart operation’ on our cars, two race weekends in a row. We had a number of varying difficulties with different components, each of which could easily have caused a failure. That’s why we have to solve this challenge as quickly as possible.

Toto is alluding to a hydraulic leak in Lewis’ car that was discovered at the Canadian Grand Prix after qualifying. Due to the Parc fermé rules, this could only be removed on Sunday morning. There were similar difficulties in France.

Remain concentrated at high temperatures in Austria

A look back at the past season also sharpens this focus: In 2018, our performance at the Austrian Grand Prix was the low point of the year. A double loss after two promising starting positions in the first row meant that we left many points behind.

The race was a reminder of how fast things can go wrong in our sport, and that reliability and performance in Formula 1 go hand in hand. Two breakdowns with Ferrari winning at the same time – and already the title race is completely open again.

It’s therefore important to remain focused. Especially when the weather is as Ferrari-friendly as in the next few days in Austria. The weather forecast predicts temperatures of more than 30 degrees Celsius. Together with the lower air density due to the altitude of the track and some steep climbs, this means that cooling in Spielberg could be a real challenge.

Here, Ferrari with its power on the straights is supposedly better positioned than we are. Considering the short track length and the narrow clearances on this course, our direction is clear: We must continue to work carefully, remain calm, and give everything to ensure that our machines run reliably once more.

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Bradley Lord is Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Communications Director. At the age of four he joined his first Formula 1 race. Since then he's a big fan of motor sports in all it's facets.