2018 Australian Grand Prix Preview: Team and Driver Interviews (Mercedes and McLaren)

toto-wolff-2018

2018 Australian Grand Prix Preview: Team and Driver Interviews (Mercedes & McLaren)

2018 Australian Grand Prix

Location: Albert Park, Melbourne

Race Laps: 58

Tyre Choice: Yellow (Soft), Red (Supersoft), Purple (Ultrasoft)

It’s finally here – after the winter-break, we’re now starting the first race week and we’re all gearing up for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Take a look at what the teams and drivers have to say ahead of the season-opening race, starting with Mercedes Team Principal (and Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team), Toto Wolff.

You can see Red Bull Racing’s Australian Grand Prix Preview here

Toto Wolff – 2018 Australian Grand Prix Preview: Team and Driver Interviews

Toto Wolff: “We’re excited to go racing again. Everything we’ve done over the past months were just the first steps on the road to start our 2018 campaign – from the first build of the car to the first fire-up, from the launch in Silverstone (see this post here) to testing in Barcelona.”

“Now, it’s time to find out what we’ve got – like the old saying goes, when the flag drops – the bullsh*t stops.”

“Last year, the competition was very close and there was no moment where we could afford to relax. Ferrari put up a very tough fight and we had a proper battle between silver and red. This year promises to bring an exciting three-way fight between us – Ferrari and Red Bull.”

“Everyone in Brackley and Brixworth has worked extremely hard over the past few months to make sure that we enter that fight with the best machine possible. Both our drivers seem reasonably happy with our new car but it remains yet to be seen how well it performs when driven in anger.”

“The reduction in the number of power unit components means that reliability will again play an important role in 2018. Our reliability in testing looked good but we need to be careful to draw any conclusions from that – despite getting some good mileage with the new car in Barcelona, many of it’s components have not even come close to the life they need to complete during the season.”

“We will tackle this new season with the same dedication, team spirit and energy that has made us strong in the past. Each of us has the mindset that last year’s belongs in the past. Yesterday’s trophies don’t win today’s games and a new season feels like climbing Mount Everest!”

“We’ve done it successfully in the past but we’re only in the base camp at the moment. It will be a tough journey with the same target but difficult challenges to master along the way. Right now, we start this long season zero points just like every one of our rivals.”

“Now, we have to give it everything to be successful again this year.”

McLaren – 2018 Australian Grand Prix Preview: Team and Driver Interviews

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Fernando Alonso: “Finally, it’s time to go racing!”

“This isn’t my first time racing this year of course – I’ve already a done a 24 hour race in Daytona and have a very busy season ahead of me – but, I’m really excited about getting behind the wheel of the MCL33 for the first Grand Prix of the year.”

“Our car showed a lot of potential in winter testing and, although we know that we still have a lot  to work on, we’ve already learned a lot about the package and how all the new elements to this year’s car work together.”

“Australia is the first real test and we need to work hard all weekend to bring the ingredients together.”

“Nobody can predict how other teams will perform at the first race of the season and that all contributes to the excitement – Melbourne is a great track and after what feels like a long winter, I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do.”

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Stoffel Vandoorne: “Melbourne is a really cool season opener. The first race coincides with my birthday and I’ve got great memories from last year as it was my first Grand Prix for the team as a race driver.”

“Now that I’ve got my first full-season under my belt, I’m heading to Australia feeling confident, relaxed and refreshed – I can’t wait to go racing again.”

“I’ve been working hard all winter on my training and spending a lot of time with the engineers back at the factory to prepare for this year. Although the regulations have stayed relatively stable, there’s still a lot to learn and our package in particular is very different from last year. It’ll also be very interesting to see both the drivers’ and the fans’ reactions to the very first Grand Prix with the halo!”

“I’m really excited – it’s the start of a new challenge for all of us. I’m keen to maximise the track time we have on Friday to work on the set-up to suit the track conditions and prep for the weekend ahead. We won’t be getting carried away as we don’t know for sure where we stand compared to the other teams but now that the winter is over – we all can’t wait to get started with F1 2018.”

Eric Boullier (Racing Director): “A new season and a new chapter for McLaren in 2018. With the many developments within our team over the past six months or so, it brings me great excitement and pride to see everything coming together and the new McLaren Renault MCL33 hitting the track in Melbourne.”

“We didn’t have the reliability which we had hoped for in winter testing but all the issues which we faced have since been addressed back at the factory. There’s a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in our quest to extract the maximum pace we can from our new package at the first race.”

“Melbourne is a venue that the whole team loves going back to – to kick off the new season. It’s a vibrant city, the fans are incredibly enthusiastic and there’s the palpable ‘back-to-school’ feeling of anticipation, where nobody really knows the form book until the lights go out on Sunday.”

“We’re not expecting miracles to be worked overnight – far from it – but what we do know is that we’ll give it our all this weekend.”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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