Toto Wolff says the results from the past two Grand Prix could not be better for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport as a pair of one-two finishes has given the team significant advantages in both championships.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished first and second in the Russian and Japanese Grand Prix to give the Briton a sixty-seven-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship and Mercedes a seventy-eight-point lead over Scuderia Ferrari in the Constructors’ battle.
Wolff is pleased with the performance step Mercedes has made since the summer break as they retook their place as the team with the fastest car on the grid following a resurgence from Ferrari, although he expects the battle between the two teams to be fierce across the remaining four races of the season, starting this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.
“We could not have asked for a better result from the back-to-back races in Russia and Japan,” said Wolff. “We were able to extend our lead in both championships and the entire team delivered to a very high level.
“While we didn’t have the fastest car in the summer, we’ve seen the performance swing in our favour recently; however, it is closer than it looked in recent races. Ferrari have a strong car and they will keep on pushing until the very last corner in Abu Dhabi.
“They have been worthy opponents in the past 17 races and we have no reason to believe that this will change in the next four; just like us, they will fight fiercely for every point and position.”
Wolff also says the results in recent races shows just how well Hamilton and Bottas are driving at present and it is lucky for Mercedes to have such a strong driver line-up heading into the remaining races of the season.
“Two 1-2s in a row also show how well both drivers are performing,” he said. “With six race victories in the last seven races, Lewis has shown what a class act he is.
“Both on and off the track he is more complete than ever before, showing commanding performance in the car and challenging the entire team to perform to higher levels at the same time.
“Valtteri had some tough races in the summer, but came back strong in recent weeks. He was competitive in both Sochi and Suzuka and embodied our team spirit. We’re lucky to have this driver line-up and we know can count on them as the season comes to its close.”