Toto Wolff says there has been a ‘brilliant buzz’ amongst the staff at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team following their victory in the Russian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Late race rain spiced up the Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom, with long-time race leader Lando Norris losing his maiden victory by staying out too long on the slick tyres. His drama enabled Lewis Hamilton to secure his one hundredth victory ahead of title rival Max Verstappen, while the weather also enabled Valtteri Bottas to jump from outside the top ten all the way to fifth.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport and the Team Principal of the Mercedes Formula 1 project, says the final moments in Russia proved again that anything can happen in Formula 1, and it is important to stay alert and capitalise on the opportunities presented to them.
“There’s been a brilliant buzz in the team over the last week or so,” said Wolff. “Being back on the top step of the podium was an incredible feeling for all of us, and particularly after such a dramatic race weekend.
“It was obviously made even more special by being Lewis’ 100th race win in Formula One. In the moment, milestones like this are exceptional, but I think it will take time for us to all realise just how remarkable this period of time is, and how privileged we all are to be part of this journey with him.
“The final moments of the last race in Russia proved that anything can happen in F1 and fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. This season is keeping all of us on our toes and that’s something we’re enjoying immensely, but it also means we have to be aggressive with our approach to the season, in order to maximise the points available.”
Wolff says they will continue to be alert and ready for any opportunity this weekend in the Turkish Grand Prix, with the Intercity Istanbul Park track the venue where Hamilton secured his seventh World Championship in 2020.
The Briton cannot repeat this feat this year, but Wolff says he is expecting another weekend where the Hamilton/Verstappen battle for the title will intensify further.
“That’s our focus for Turkey and beyond. I know Lewis, Valtteri and the entire team are fired up for the battle that lies ahead, and we look set for another exciting race this weekend at Istanbul Park, where there are still many unknowns for us because of the track surface and weather conditions in 2020,” he said.
“It’s an exciting track layout and a good one for racing, so I think we’ll be in for another spectacular twist in this brilliant F1 season.”