Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We will continue to fight hard”

Credit: Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff, is eager to get back into the title challenge after a revitalising summer break, but is prepared for the test the German squad could face from their rivals from here on in, who will no doubt have used the time off to plan how they can bring the fight to the current leaders at every given opportunity.

“We return from the summer break with fresh energy for the next phase of the season – and we will need all of that energy, as time and again we’re reminded that nothing is clear cut.

“We were expecting Hungary to be tough, with Hockenheim playing more to our strengths. That wasn’t the case. It’s an unusual situation to be winning for so long, so you can’t expect it to last – especially against opposition with such passion and resource as those around us.

“We will continue to fight hard. For the drivers, it’s the same story. There are more than 200 points to be won in their title battle and a lot of racing to be done yet.”

Despite a number of incidents involving silver arrows drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, which have cost the team valuable points already this season, Wolff appears happy to see how that rivalry plays out during the remainder of the year.

“Lewis is on an impressive run, just like Nico had at the end of last season and into this one. The advantage constantly swings, so it will be exciting to see how their battle pans out.

A big plus for the Brackley based squad from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards, is that junior driver Esteban Ocon will compete alongside fellow Mercedes youngster Pascal Wehrlein, after the Frenchman replaced the outgoing Rio Haryanto at the Manor Racing Team.

Such an opportunity is a fantastic way for Mercedes to progress the development of their upcoming drivers and the Austrian will be watching on with interest to see how they compare not only with each other, but against the rest of the grid as well.

“We’re also pleased to see both of our junior driver’s side-by-side at Manor, with Esteban joining Pascal on the grid from this weekend. The coming races will be important for both of their development, so we will watch their progress with great interest.”

With nine races still remaining on the F1 calendar, it is certainly all to play for in terms of championship results. A strong second half of the season is what Wolff and the Brackley based team will be hoping for, and Wolff is relishing the chance to get the F1 action back underway as soon as possible.

“There is plenty to be excited about heading into these next nine races. I, for one, can’t wait to get back out there.”