Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “A big challenge ahead of us” in Singapore


Toto Wolff - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff is hoping to see his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team become the first to secure a one-two finish at the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore this weekend, and hopes the problems they encountered a year ago have been solved.

The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport saw both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg struggle in 2015, with neither finishing on a podium that was filled by Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen, but Wolff is hopeful the issues that blighted the team will not resurface this season.

“After a strong showing in Italy, we go to Singapore with a big challenge ahead of us,” said Wolff. “No team has ever scored a 1-2 finish there – and with good reason.

“As we have seen before, it’s a race where a single problem can cascade into many more as the weekend progresses. We have to optimise everything to get a solid result.

“We didn’t manage it last year and, although we believe we now understand why, only performance on the racetrack can prove our conclusions right. We are curious and excited to see how it goes.

“Ferrari were mighty around this circuit last year and it will suit the high downforce design philosophy followed by Red Bull, so we must not make the mistake of thinking we are favourites this weekend.”

Wolff is focused on both 2016 and 2017 at present, with the fight for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships the first aim before the new rules for next year come into effect. He feels his drivers will battle until the end of the season for the title, and insists both will have equal opportunities to win it.

“It’s an exciting time for the sport and the future is looking bright,” said Wolff. “For us, we now have to get the ball over the line in both Championships while remaining conscious that next year is a very different challenge.

“For the drivers, I think their battle will go to the end and our challenge is to ensure they both have the equal opportunity to fight in terms of equipment and operations. It’s going to be great to watch.”