Formula 1

Mercedes ‘with a Point to Prove’ in Abu Dhabi after Brazil Underperformance – Toto Wolff

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Credit: Wolfgang Wilhelm

Toto Wolff says this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a good way for his Mercedes AMG Motorsport team to fight back after a below par weekend in Brazil last time out.

Wolff feels that despite having clinched both championships, the underperformance shown in Brazil, where World Champion Lewis Hamilton was classified seventh after a penalty and Valtteri Bottas retired with an engine issue, means Mercedes have a point to prove in the final race of the year.

The Team Principal of Mercedes, who was not in Brazil as he missed a Grand Prix for the first time in over six years, says the Yas Marina Circuit has been kind to the team in the past and it gives them a shot at ending the year on a high with a fifteenth victory of 2019.

“Brazil was a disappointing race for us; we did not have the fastest car on track and we lost a lot of points owing to our own mistakes,” said Wolff.  “We analysed what went wrong, both in terms of our reliability and our decisions during the race, to make sure we don’t repeat them.

“It was a good learning experience for the entire team and something that will make us stronger in the long run. The underperformance in Brazil means we head to Abu Dhabi with a point to prove.

“Yas Marina has been a good circuit for us in the last years and we’ll push hard to continue in the same way. The race is one last opportunity for us to add another victory to the record of the W10 and it’s one more chance to put on a great show for the fans before the winter break.

“We’re looking forward to the fight because we know that in Formula 1, you’re only as good as your last result.”

Looking back at the season as a whole, Wolff admits there have been a lot of highs but many lows along the way, with the passing of Charlie Whiting, Niki Lauda and Anthoine Hubert, amongst others, being remembered just as much as the many victories and the double championship triumph.

“This season has been a real rollercoaster for us,” admits Wolff.  “We’ve seen great on-track battles and we’ve loved the competition. We are very proud that we came out on top and managed to put the Mercedes name in the history books of Formula 1 with our sixth consecutive double title.

“On the other hand, it’s been an incredibly hard year where we had to say goodbye to too many friends. We were hit hard by the passing of Charlie, Niki and Anthoine, as well as important members from our team who we have tragically lost this year.

“At Mercedes, Niki left a void that we will never be able to replace – as a source of inspiration, as a voice of reason, but most importantly as a great friend. We hope we did you proud, Niki.”

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