Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff admits “constant massacring” of the notoriously brutal kerbs at the Red Bull Ring could result in a repeat “headache” for his team during the Styrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were warned it was “critical” to avoid the kerbs in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix last weekend after both cars were hampered by gearbox-related issues throughout the race.

Mercedes is hopeful it has found a solution to the problem during the four-day turnaround between back-to-back races in Austria, but Wolff is concerned the issues could reoccur today, particularly with expected pressure coming from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who starts alongside polesitter Hamilton.

"There will be laps when you have no chance of not using them [the kerbs],” Wolff explained.

"Wherever Max is - leading or behind us - just cruising around, neatly avoiding the kerbs is not going to be possible.

"It is about constant massacring the suspension - that is something that will cause us a headache.

“So once we have settled in our positions, then we will be trying to avoid the kerbs. It’s a very Austria-specific topic.”

Bottas revealed on Friday that the team had fitted both cars to monitor the problem and was confident the team would overcome it. However, the Finn conceded both he and Hamilton may be forced to drive differently.

"For sure we will need to be on the cautious side,” Bottas said.

“We obviously want to finish the races and get the full points that we can, but that’s something that we should be more wiser [about] after Friday to see how things are.

“But we could potentially have to drive differently. We'll see.”

 

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