The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team will be taking nothing for granted in the final four races of the season despite big leads in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, according to Toto Wolff.
Lewis Hamilton has a 59-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ standings, while the team are 145-points better off than Scuderia Ferrari heading into this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, but Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, insists the team will be no taking their foot off the accelerator.
“Still four races to go and 100 points to score: we can take nothing for granted as we fly to Austin this week,” said Wolff. “We approach every race with a healthy dose of scepticism rather than wishful thinking, and our focus must be on making sure we score every point within our reach this weekend in Austin.
“Since we began the final flyaway leg of the season, we have seen a strong points swing in our favour in both championships. Good fortune has played its part, of course – and we have put ourselves in the right position to make the most of the opportunities that have come our way.
“But nobody within the team is allowing those good results to disguise the challenges we have faced.”
Despite the W08 Hybrid often being called a ‘diva’ in 2017, the car has still taken more wins than any other team, with Hamilton currently on eight victories and Valtteri Bottas two, but Wolff feels every race gives the team a better insight of their car, and he hopes that they can address any weakness that bares its teeth.
“We returned from those races [in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan] with a lot more understanding of our car and of the reasons for the performance swings we have experienced this season,” admitted Wolff.
“Some of that understanding is already being applied to the final races, some of it will flow into next year’s project. But the bitter taste of our defeat in Malaysia once again confirmed that the tough days are the ones when you learn most – and when you lay the foundations for future success.
“Likewise, we have maintained clear sight of the reasons for our success this year. The team is operating at an incredibly high level in every area and continuing to develop; we have applied an obsessive attention to detail to how we go racing over the past three seasons; and we have continued to develop our car at a competitive rate through the season.
“Our mindset has always been one of constant improvement, regardless of the results we were enjoying, and this is now paying off.”