The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team had expected the Singapore Grand Prix to be a struggle, particularly as they qualified fifth and sixth on the grid on Saturday, but circumstances ensured they finished with two cars on the podium and a seventh victory of the season for Lewis Hamilton.
Three of the top four on the grid, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, were out of the race right at the start following a collision heading into turn one, leaving Hamilton in the lead, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas claimed third at the end of a tricky wet-dry race under the lights at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Toto Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said the team were able to benefit from a lot of luck in Singapore, and it proves once more that points are only won on Sunday.
“We woke up this morning talking about little else than damage limitation; we leave Singapore this evening with a bigger lead in both championships,” said Wolff.
“This was one of those days that reminds you what an unbelievable sport motor racing can be. And reminds you, too, that the points are only scored on Sunday.
“Of course, it goes without saying that we got a big slice of luck today. Not only did we avoid the chaos at Turn One but we also escaped without damage to both cars. After that, though, we had to make the most of the opportunity that had been presented to us – and out-race a very fast Red Bull.
“Lewis did that brilliantly, showing good race pace on both types of tyre, while Valtteri picked his way back through the field to the podium.”
Wolff knows that whereas the luck was on their side in Singapore, it could easily go against them in any of the remaining six races of the season, so everyone within the team will have to keep their focus to ensure the team take the best result possible from every round.
“The emotions tonight are very different to what we felt 24 hours ago – but this result doesn’t change a thing in the big picture,” said Wolff.
“If anything, it’s a stark reminder that there are six more opportunities for the luck to go against us this season, just as it happened to Ferrari today. We will celebrate our result this evening but, after that, it will be full focus on the next challenges ahead.”