Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “This has been a very special weekend for the team”

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Großer Preis von Deutschland 2016, Sonntag

The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, praised Lewis Hamilton for his performance during the German Grand Prix on Sunday, but also commented about the troubled afternoon suffered by Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton assumed the lead at the start at the Hockenheimring and stayed there until the chequered flag for his forty-ninth career victory, whereas Rosberg fell to fourth from pole position, and then took a time penalty for forcing Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen off the track.

“First of all, what a fantastic drive from Lewis and a great feeling to win the German Grand Prix once again with Mercedes,” said Wolff. “This has been a very special weekend for the team and Lewis delivered a pretty perfect drive today: great start, great speed, great management.

“He’s gone from a big deficit to now leading the championship, so it’s been a very good streak. We have seen these waves of momentum in both directions and he is riding the crest right now.

“But as well as the sweet part of the afternoon, for Nico it was more bitter. The start didn’t go well for him with big wheel spin but then he struggled for pace in the race, too.”

Wolff is seeking consistency to be applied in regards to penalties, with Rosberg’s time penalty for forcing Verstappen off track being a point of contention, feeling that some moves similar to what happened in Germany are going unpunished.

“There were two big talking points,” said Wolff. “First the penalty. I think you will find lots of opinions but what we really look for is consistency in the decision making.

“Sometimes you see cars battling and there is no consequence, other times penalties are handed out. Today’s felt tough because I think the fans want to see hard racing – and that’s what it was.

“Then there was the pit stop to serve the penalty. In such a high-tech sport, we don’t often have to use a stopwatch in a manual process. Today, it didn’t start, so we had to take the safe option to make sure Nico observed the right amount of time. Sometimes these things happen.”

Wolff feels content with how the first half of the season has gone, with only the Spanish Grand Prix denying Mercedes a clean sweep of victories, and is looking for the team to recharge their batteries during the summer break in order to keep the good form going.

“Overall, I think we can be very pleased with our first part of the year,” insisted Wolff. “11 wins from 12 is a nice statistic to take into the summer break – but we know that our rivals are continuing to improve, too.

“We will take the break, recharge the batteries and come back with fresh energy in Spa.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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