Mercedes may have lost ground to Ferrari on both championship fronts during F1’s triple-header, but team principal Toto Wolff says the Silver Arrows still had the fastest car.
Sebastian Vettel went eight points clear of Lewis Hamilton after his British GP victory, as both title rivals had a win and a podium in the three-race swing.
However, Hamilton claimed two pole positions and Valtteri Bottas the other as Mercedes enjoyed a qualifying clean sweep.
"We didn't score as many points in the triple-header as we had hoped for," Wolff said ahead of the German manufacturer’s home grand prix at Hockenheim this weekend.
"A lot of that was down to our own mistakes. However, there is a silver lining to this – while we didn't maximise on points, we did bring the quickest car to all three races.”
After a much needed rest F1 is back this weekend for the first race in Germany since 2016!— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 16, 2018
The glorious Hockenheimring awaits the teams and drivers
Here's all you need to know about the 4.574 km circuit in Baden-Württemberg ⬇️#C4F1 #GermanyGP pic.twitter.com/SHjPalXbtf
With Hockenheim the 11th round of 21 this season, Wolff believes Mercedes have had a “decent” first half of the championship despite trailing Ferrari by 20 points in the constructors’ standings.
“On the one hand, we've left points on the table and had to do damage limitation more often than we would have wanted,” he said.
"On the other hand, we still scored a good amount of points, both drivers have shown strong performances, and we have a fast car.
"So, there are many reasons why we're looking forward to the second half of the 2018 season: we're hungry, ambitious and want to kick on from here."
We put @AussieGrit @Susie_Wolff and @karunchandhok in 70-year-old racing cars. In the pouring rain. And they LOVED it!— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 13, 2018
And guess who was at @SilverstoneUK to watch them? The one and only Murray Walker
Definitely worth six minutes of your day https://t.co/GSaoRSY12x
At this stage last season, Vettel led Hamilton by one point and Mercedes had a 55-point advantage over Ferrari.
The 11th race of 2017 was in Hungary, where Vettel won to reclaim top spot in the standings. This time he will be seeking his first Hockenheim success, having only triumphed on home soil for Red Bull in the last German GP to be held at the Nurburgring, in 2013.
Mercedes suffered disappointment two weeks ago at Silverstone – the Brackley-based team’s other ‘home’ race – as Hamilton fought back to P2 after an early collision with Kimi Raikkonen, while Bottas was fourth.
Vettel tallied 50 points over the three races, while Raikkonen totalled 48 as the Ferraris were the only cars to complete all 176 laps. Hamilton scored 43 points after a DNF in Austria, matched by Max Verstappen – whose Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo collected 22, four more than Bottas.
Sebastian Vettel's record at the Hockenheimring leaves a lot to be desired, with the Ferrari racer only managing a personal best of P3 here— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 16, 2018
He has also only ever led three laps around this circuit, which lies 28 miles from his hometown of Heppenheim #C4F1 #GermanGP pic.twitter.com/l0qvdpoHrc
This weekend Mercedes will be defending their race title at a circuit where Hamilton won the last German GP in 2016, and team-mate Nico Rosberg – the 2014 winner – took pole.
"Going to Hockenheim always feels like coming home; it's only about a 90-minute drive from the Daimler headquarters in Stuttgart," Wolff said.
"While we had the great opportunity to race in front of many of our colleagues from Brackley and Brixworth in Silverstone, we're now looking forward to welcoming the German members of the Mercedes family to the circuit and to holding high the three-pointed star on home turf.
"The track itself is quite interesting; it has a variety of corner speeds and will test every aspect of the car.”