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F1 Brazilian Grand Prix: Wolff anticipating renewed Ferrari, Williams threat

Team boss Toto Wolff refuses to write off the challenge of Mercedes' F1 rivals as the series heads to the penultimate round at Interlagos.
Mercedes may have continued its rampage through the 2015 F1 season as the series returned to the Mexico City for the first time since 1992, but team boss Toto Wolff refuses to count its rivals out at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel appeared the only realistic threat to the Silver Arrows ahead of the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but the Ferrari driver suffered a rare nightmare weekend that eventually led to retirement after a first lap clash and two subsequent spins. With Nico Rosberg winning the race at the head of a Mercedes 1-2, Vettel's hold on second place in the standings was erased to the tune of 21 points, but Wolff expects the fight to continue to Brazil and, maybe, beyond.

“We have two races remaining to watch an intense and entertaining battle continue,” he noted, “The rivalry like we have between Lewis and Nico is great for the sport, great for the team and great for the drivers themselves. They are pushing each other harder and harder, pushing the team forward with them and providing a fascinating story.

“But, of course, they are never without pressure from rivals further afield. Ferrari had a bad weekend in Mexico, but they will no doubt be a threat in Brazil - as will Williams after another podium finish last time out. This is a race which often brings surprises and never fails to entertain. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what's in store for us at Interlagos.”

Despite building up the opposition, Wolff knows that round 17 was another fine display from his own team – something he'd like to see carry over to Brazil as Mercedes seeks a 15th race win.

“We came away from Mexico with many positives,” he said, “For the sport, we saw a fantastic event which brought F1 back to Mexico in style. On track, our boys delivered strong drives to claim an emphatic one-two for the team and, in the garage and on the pit wall, the crew were faultless - fast pit-stops, a good race strategy and two cars which performed well at a new venue with unique challenges.”

After the redesigned Hermanos Autodromo Rodriguez, Interlagos presents another classic F1 challenge, although technical director Paddy Lowe insists that the Sao Paulo venue no longer presents quite the same engineering headache as it once did.

“Interlagos is another historic circuit with some great features - most notably the long climb through the final corner, across the start-finish straight and back down into the first corner,” he explained, “The weather can be quite unpredictable in Sao Paulo too - often leading to dramatic and spectacular races. The tyres were right on the edge at this circuit last year so, if it does remain dry, this may be another issue to contend with.

“However, while the high-altitude location of the circuit has been a talking point in the past, this is insignificant compared to what we experienced at the last race. Likewise, it will be difficult to match the atmosphere in Mexico City, which was absolutely fantastic. But the Brazilian crowd has traditionally been one of the most enthusiastic of the year, so I'm sure they'll be up for the challenge!”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.10.2015 - Race, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director and Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal.
06.09.2015 - Race, 1st position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06, 2nd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and 3rd position Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW37 with Geoff Willis (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Technology Director
11.10.2015 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team [credit: Haas F1 Team]
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

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November 09, 2015 12:18 PM

I for one sure am hoping that Vettel or Kimi can take the fight to Merc not sure where Williams will be but Ferrari IMO will be the team to take it to Merc... Next season I feel that the way Ferrari are going Vettel is going to have a damn good shot at the title altho I like Lewis its really getting boring seeing him win with no competition apart from Rosberg who's not really that much competition, . ForzaFerrari great things are coming!!!..


November 09, 2015 1:26 PM
Last Edited 107 days ago

MrGray: “We have two races remaining to watch an intense and entertaining battle continue...” Laptops and pit stops do not intense or entertaining make, foo'.
I think Toto has been watching old episodes of Dallas and admiring the business acumen and lifestyles of the Ewings.
Toto = JR Ewing Horner = Bobby Ewing Boullier = Cliff Barnes Hamilton = Lucy Ewing Rosberg = Miss Ellie

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