Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff was pleased that the team managed to learn from the mistakes made last year and take a brilliant victory and third place finish on the streets in Singapore on Sunday.
“Taking a step back from the race, though, most of all I want to congratulate our team. A year ago this circuit, we were nowhere; today, we have come away with a double podium and an amazing win. It shows that we are able to learn the lessons of our failures and turn them into strengths.”
Wolff praised Nico Rosberg with the way he could manage the tyres and defend the ever challenging Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.
“Nico did a perfect job all weekend – after the stunning lap yesterday in qualifying, he managed his race in the most controlled way today, all the way to the final metres.”
Rosberg drove a brilliant race and held off Ricciardo in the closing laps, Wolff said that the strategy had to change because of the pace from the Red Bull.
“We wanted to make a third stop with him but Ricciardo put in a stunning out-lap after his final stop – and Nico had traffic on the lap, which cost him time. When those factors combined, they meant he would have lost the position, so he had to tough it out in the lead – and he just made it.”
“Initially we thought it would be comfortable, then it became clear it would be very close, and we saved all the tricks and engine modes for the final laps so he could fend off Ricciardo if he needed to.”
Set up and preparation is hugely important for Mercedes to judge tyre degradation and brake wear which impacted Hamilton throughout the race.
“As for Lewis, it was a great recovery to come back to the podium after a difficult first half of the race and a tricky weekend. It just shows how important all the practice laps are if you want to reach the perfect set-up and preparation for the race – and we didn’t give those to Lewis this weekend, which left him on the back foot from Saturday onwards.”
Mercedes could clinch the Constructors Championship in Malaysia this will be a third consecutive constructor’s championship for the Silver Arrows. The Drivers’ Championship looks to go down to the wire with Hamilton and Rosberg separated by just eight points.