Mercedes AMG Motorsport team boss Toto Wolff has taken the view that Sunday is all that matters during a race weekend, after securing a 1-2 finish in the Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom even though they didn’t have the quickest car.
Lewis Hamilton started in second, while his team-mate, Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, started in fourth, with Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc on pole.
“Today is one of those races that go to show the points are won on Sunday and not on Saturday – and that, most of all, you can never give up. We managed to take a one-two finish today even though we didn’t have the quickest package and that is a very special feeling,” said Wolff.
Wolff said the team decided to start both drivers on the Medium tyre as opposed to the Soft as it gave them the opportunity to run a longer opening stint, which paid off after the Virtual Safety Car for Sebastian Vettel‘s car failure.
“We started on the Medium tyre and one of the reasons we did that was to have the flexibility to stretch the opening stint – both to take advantage of a possible Safety Car after Ferrari had pitted, but also to have the option of using the Soft in the final stint.
“So we were running it long, hanging it out there a bit and then the race came right towards us with the VSC for Vettel’s failure.”
Despite their victory, Wolff is determined that the team do not lose sight of the fact that their package is not as competitive as they would like it to be compared to Ferrari’s, and find out the best of way of maximising performance ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
He said: “But even in the joy of this win, we must not lose sight of the fact that we didn’t have the best package here this weekend.
“We have some updates to come in Suzuka, but most of all we need to put our heads together over the coming days and understand how to maximise our package in Japan, so that we extract every bit of potential from it and come back stronger.”