Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We came to Hungary with damage limitation as our motto”

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Toto Wolff - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Team Principal & CEO
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff has expressed his pleasure at the team’s results at the race this weekend in Hungary, as it was initially going to be an exercise of damage limitation.

“We came to Hungary with damage limitation as our motto, so it’s pretty good to be leaving after out-scoring our rivals, even if just by a few small points.”

The CEO & Team Principal of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport has praised both of his drivers for their valiant efforts in the race; Lewis Hamilton won the race, while his team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth, having started the race next to Hamilton in second.

“Lewis drove a faultless race: he made a perfect start, then started building the gap on the UltraSoft tyre.  He took that first set longer than we had planned before pitting, then managed the Soft extremely well to the finish.  It’s an easy race to summarise but that doesn’t take anything away from the skill that it took to deliver such a polished performance.”

Even though Bottas spun following contact with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, Wolff does not find either driver to be at fault.

“In the other car, Valtteri drove what I think was his best race in his time so far at Mercedes.  He held position at the start and then did a perfect job after pitting early until he started to run out of tyres in the final laps.  I saw the contacts with Sebastian [Vettel] and Daniel [Ricciardo] as racing incidents: he was on the dirty inside line in each case and was defending with everything he had left; the trouble was that he didn’t have a lot left at that stage.”, said Wolff.

“He raced hard and fifth place is not much of a reward after that drive.  Lewis’ win is the perfect way to finish the first part of the season but we know that this one is going down to the wire.”, he added.

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