Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 has been graced with ‘greatness’ with Lewis Hamilton after the Briton secured his fifth World Drivers’ Championship during Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Although the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver had one of his quieter races of 2018 and could only finish fourth, it was more than enough for Hamilton to claim his fourth title in five years and join Juan Manuel Fangio as a five-time champion, with only Michael Schumacher’s seven titles ahead of him.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, has heralded Hamilton’s race craft this season, including at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday as, despite Mercedes seemingly having only the third fastest car of the day, he was still able to maximise his result without making any mistakes.
“Usually, we don’t acknowledge greatness until someone’s career is over, but we need to take a moment to recognise its presence – Lewis has now equalled Fangio’s record and there aren’t many like him out there!” said Wolff.
“Lewis has been the differentiator this season – our car was the fastest at times, but not always; sometimes, like today, it was only the third-fastest. And yet Lewis’ performance was always was very stable, his race craft was absolutely great.
“It has always been one of his strengths, but this year it was definitely one of the key factors of his success.”
While Wolff is happy that one title is in the bag, the Constructors’ Championship is yet to be decided and after the struggles Mercedes faced in Mexico conserving their tyres, he admits there is still work to be done to ensure the second crown heads their way and not the way of Scuderia Ferrari.
“We’re very happy about Lewis’ fifth drivers’ title and our fifth in a row as a team, but the job is not done yet,” said Wolff. “There’s a constructors’ championship out there that we still want to win and that won’t be easy as we saw today.
“We had a very bad race, we really struggled with the tyres, I don’t think we actually switched the tyres on today. We don’t know yet what the issue was, but we will dig deep, put the finger in the wound and find out why we struggled so much.
“Now all our focus is on the constructors’ championship, we need to perform strongly in Brazil and make sure we keep pushing until the end.”