Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “I still feel a lot of hunger and desire for more achievements”

by Paul Hensby

Toto Wolff says it was a special moment to be able to celebrate winning both World Championship titles with everyone at their Brixworth and Brackley factories last week, but he says there is still a hunger for more within the Mercedes AMG Motorsport team.

Lewis Hamilton clinched the Drivers’ Championship in the United States Grand Prix despite finishing second to team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the Circuit of the Americas, while the Constructors’ Championship had been won a few races prior in the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka International Racing Course.

But despite winning six consecutive Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship doubles, Wolff says there is no sense of complacency at Mercedes, and the ambition to go further and win more titles is there throughout the team.

“Last week we had the chance to celebrate the championships with everyone at Brixworth and Brackley – the 1,500 men and women that form this amazing team and made this extraordinary success possible,” said Wolff.  “It is always a special moment and this year’s was particularly special as our sixth consecutive double sets a new benchmark in our sport.

“But despite this record-breaking achievement, I still feel a lot of hunger and desire for more achievements. There’s no sense of complacency, everybody is still determined to keep on improving. It’s an inspiring group of people that fully lives up to the Mercedes aspiration of being the best.”

Wolff wants this aspiration to continue into the final two races of the season, beginning this weekend at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, the venue where they secured the Constructors’ Championship in 2018. 

He wants the team to fight all the way for both pole position and the victory in Brazil, even though he admits Mercedes have not had the fastest car for much of the second half of the season.

“We have two races to go in the 2019 season and we want to end this season on a high,” insists Wolff.  “The next stop takes us to Brazil which brings back fond memories from last year when we were not only able to win the race but also secure the constructors’ championship at Interlagos.

“It’s a very short track which makes qualifying particularly challenging as the margins are very small. We have generally not had the fastest car on Saturdays since the summer break, but we were able to take pole in Austin and will try to fight for a front row start again at São Paulo.”

Wolff has revealed that he will prioritise other commitments in Europe rather than attend the race weekend in Brazil, meaning he will miss a Grand Prix for the first time since 2013.

“Brazil will also be the first race since 2013 that I won’t attend,” said Wolff.  “With both championships secured, it gives me more time in Europe to focus on other open topics.

“It’s great to be able to do this and to know that the team will represent the three-pointed star in the best way possible both on and off the track.”

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