'Still a lot of the game left to play' - Wolff feels Mercedes could surprise at Barcelona

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels heading to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona, they still have "a lot of game to play" if they can improve their car.

In the last race at Miami, Mercedes finished fifth and sixth with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, respectively.

In an interview about their car and the teams showing, Wolff was not unhappy with how they did at Miami.

"With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami.

"Considering George's start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed," Wolff said.

"But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis, who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race. I've no doubt that a little luck will eventually go his way throughout the season."

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 06: Lewis Hamilton of Great B
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W13 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 06, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

Mercedes looked very good early on in the weekend's Miami event, with Russell topping the FP2 times, but as the racing progressed, they fell pack behind the top two teams, Ferrari and Red Bull.

"During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential," Wolff pointed out. "We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components, and that's provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in," said Wolff.

"A considerable amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona.

"Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car, and we're hopeful that we'll take another step forward," Wolff explained.

"The track itself is a good all-rounder, so it really puts every aspect of the car to the test," Wolff said of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. "It's never been a great track for overtaking, so it'll be interesting to see how these new-shape 2022 F1 cars impact the on-track spectacle in Spain."

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George Russell

Wolff says that despite their struggles over the first five races, the F1 season was a long one, and Mercedes does have the potential to recover as they gear up for the sixth race in Barcelona.

"In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game," Wolff said. "We know that once we translate the learnings we've made into track performance, there's still a lot of the game left to play."

In the current Constructors' standings, Mercedes is third, while their drivers Russell and Hamilton are fourth and sixth, respectively.

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