Formula 1

Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “We will have to keep pushing to win both titles”

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Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport - Hungaroring
Credit: Steve Etherington

Toto Wolff says Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport will continue to push hard to ensure both championships head their way after the setback of the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Lewis Hamilton may have edged closer to the Drivers’ Championship after beating rival Sebastian Vettel, but Kimi Räikkönen’s victory ensured Scuderia Ferrari outscored Mercedes to close the gap in the Constructors’ Championship.

Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, says the result at the Circuit of the Americas was confirmation that the fight for the championships are still ongoing, but they will have another shot at securing at least one of those titles this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the Mexican Grand Prix.

“The US Grand Prix confirmed what we said before the race: This year’s championship fight is far from over,” said Wolff.  “While Lewis was able to extend his lead over Sebastian Vettel in Austin, we lost points to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

“We have a battle on our hands and we will have to keep pushing to win both titles.   We cannot be happy with the result in Texas, but it provides us with an opportunity to learn and come back stronger.”

Wolff admits the Mexico City venue has not been one of their stronger tracks in the past couple of seasons, and he is expecting a tough fight for both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas against the likes of Ferrari and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, the latter of whom took victory at the track twelve months ago with Max Verstappen.

“Our next stop brings us to Mexico City where we will face a very different challenge,” said Wolff.  “The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is an outlier given its high altitude and the demands this puts on the cars and power units.

“It has been one of the weaker tracks for us in previous years and we expect a hard fight with Ferrari and Red Bull.”

Wolff feels the weekend in Mexico might go down similar lines to what was seen last weekend in Austin due to the weather forecast predicting more unsettled weather across the practice sessions, but whatever the weather, there will be no let up from Mercedes at any point before the end of the season.

“The weather forecast predicts conditions similar to those we had in Austin which might throw everyone another curveball by limiting dry running,” he said.  “We know that it is not going to be an easy race, but everyone in the team is focused, motivated and determined to keep the pressure on until the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.”

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