Toto Wolff felt it was a ‘special feeling’ to come to the Marina Bay Street Circuit and dominate the race after the venue had become somewhat of a bogey track for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team in recent seasons.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, watched as Lewis Hamilton converted his Singapore Grand Prix pole position into a victory, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas claimed fourth, but the results were proof that the hard work being done back in the factories is paying off.
“Singapore has been our bogey track for several years, so it is a special feeling to come here and win this race on pace,” said Wolff. “The entire team has worked so hard to understand the car and take steps forward, especially since our defeat in Spa, and this result is an indication that our work is paying off.
“We prepared well for this weekend, came here determined to make a step and we delivered.”
Wolff said the weekend was satisfying as their advantage in the Constructors’ Championship rose to twenty-five points, while Hamilton’s win moves him forty points clear of Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship.
“It was a weekend of many parts: a stardust lap from Lewis in qualifying, a chess game of tyre management this evening, and some nervous moments with traffic and backmarkers during the race – but in the end, we outscored our rivals for both championships and delivered a really satisfying result,” said the Austrian.
Both Hamilton and Bottas were compromised at times during the race with battling backmarkers, with the former in particular finding himself held up as Romain Grosjean and Sergey Sirotkin fought for position, with the Haas F1 Team racer getting a penalty for ignoring blue flags as a result.
“There will be many discussions about backmarkers, who had a big influence on both drivers’ races; I think this is a topic for the drivers to discuss among themselves, but perhaps there is a way to optimise those blue flag rules on street circuits like this,” said Wolff.
Wolff says there is plenty of positives to take away from Singapore but there is still plenty of work to do to take both championships this season, starting with the Russian Grand Prix at the end of the month.
“From our side, we can be pleased with a very solid weekend,” he added. “We have leads in both championships, but they change nothing in the mind-set of this team.
“We have six weekends to go and we know how quickly the situation can swing back against us. We will take it weekend by weekend, feet on the ground and determined to maximise our potential every time.”