Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “It was good to have a drama-free afternoon”


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. F1 USA Grand Prix Practice 2, Austin Texas – Circuit of the Americas (COTA) FIA Personnel Press Conference. Friday 21st October 2016. Toto Wolff - Mercedes AMG Petronas Executive Director. Digital Ref :1744LB1D1518

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, applauded the efforts of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg this weekend, after a solid performance from both of his drivers, brought home a one-two for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.

Wolff praised Hamilton for practically owning the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) track on Sunday, a venue where the Brit has taken victory at all but one of the five grand prix held there to date.

“This race in Austin in becoming real Lewis Hamilton country: three wins in a row, and four in total, after a perfect and really controlled drive today.”

After the stress of recent weeks, where events have not gone to plan for the German squad, Wolff was relieved to have a problem free weekend this time out.

“We have had some pretty dramatic races in recent weeks, including what happened in Malaysia of course, so it was good to have a drama-free afternoon today and see Lewis put in such a strong drive.”

The Austrian was complimentary of Rosberg’s ability to take back second place from Daniel Ricciardo after losing position to the Red Bull Racing driver at the first corner, and believes the German was being cautious knowing that a retirement from the race would be catastrophic for his title hopes.

“As for Nico, he’s in a tricky situation right now because he knows he cannot afford to have a DNF. Probably that was part of why he lost position in Turn One, but then he was looking good to get back to P2 with an offset tyre strategy before the VSC meant we could pit and gain the position in that way.”

The 44-year-old was pleased with the performance of the W07 this weekend, citing the hard work from engineers overnight on Friday as the reason Hamilton and Rosberg were able to maintain an edge over their rivals, despite Red Bull having looked like they had closed up to the Brackley based squad during the practice sessions.

“It was also great to see our pace today: things looked much closer with Red Bull in practice but our engineering team did some good work on Friday night and we had a nice advantage in qualifying and the race.

Ahead of Mexico this weekend, Wolff has vowed to continue to let his drivers fight for the world championship on track, and will do his best to ensure they both have reliable machinery at their disposal.

“We move on to Mexico now and our focus, like this weekend, will be on providing the boys with two reliable cars so that they can continue this championship battle in the right sportsmanlike way, between them out on track.”