Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We have improved the car from session to session”


Lewis Hamilton will start the Canadian Grand Prix from pole position - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff was delighted to see Lewis Hamilton claim his sixty-fifth pole position of his career to match the total of his idol Ayrton Senna, with the Briton storming to the top during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Hamilton was in sublime form to break the lap record around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, was happy that the team managed to improve the performance of the W08 throughout practice in order to have a strong qualifying.

Wolff also admitted that Valtteri Bottas was not as comfortable behind the wheel of his car as Hamilton was, but he was still able to put in a strong performance to qualify third on the grid.

“I’m very pleased indeed with how the team has worked this weekend,” said Wolff. “We have improved the car from session to session, made good decisions with the set-up and, with a sensational lap from Lewis on top, pole is the reward.

“We spent the first half of qualifying working out which timed lap was the optimum for tyre performance and, in the end, settled on the first timed lap. It was all on the line for Lewis in that final run, so to find three tenths was very impressive; it takes him to a very significant milestone in his career, level with Ayrton Senna in terms of pole positions, which I know means a lot to him.

“For Valtteri, third on the grid is a strong starting position but he wasn’t as comfortable with the car today.”

Wolff feels that Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari will continue to be closely matched during Sunday’s Grand Prix, but they will be working hard to ensure they come out on top.

“It was very closely matched with Ferrari and I’m sure we will see more of the same tomorrow,” said Wolff. “I am always the sceptic when it comes to making predictions – but that’s the mind-set we need to cover all the bases tonight and have a strong race.”