Toto Wolff’s first verdict on Lewis Hamilton’s brilliant drive in Mexico

Toto Wolff piled the praise onto Lewis Hamilton and noted that his star driver was - for a change - satisfied with his Mercedes at the F1 Mexico City Grand Prix.
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director. …

Hamilton excellently overtook Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to earn a P2 finish behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

It was a performance from Hamilton which buoyed Mercedes ahead of 2024 in which they will strive to deliver a better car.

Team principal Wolff told Sky that he was pleased with the result: “Yes, absolutely.

“The smile on our face is because the car is strong. Once Lewis was in free air, we had so much margin on the medium.”

Hamilton was forced to come from sixth on the grid, a fantastic display which was a welcome reminder of his brilliance.

But Wolff was asked if a better qualifying result might have given Hamilton a chance to win the grand prix.

“Not sure,” he said. “It’s been a few weekends now where we say ‘could have’. But we didn’t.

“I think we need to qualify better. Probably our straight-line speed wouldn’t have been so competitive against Max, but who knows? The base is there.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Hamilton expressed fear that his medium tyres would not allow him to cling onto P2, but Wolff teased: “It’s been 20 years that we’ve been discussing that during the race they’re not going to last!

“Today, it was a first, he said the car was good. 

“It was a brilliant, brilliant drive. We have these oscillations in performance.”

Wolff paid tribute to Hamilton’s efforts in Mexico: “One of the very good races that I’ve seen from him. 

“Because we didn’t know if the mediums would hold on. He managed to increase the gap to Leclerc.”

Formula 1 makes its return next week in Brazil at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the scene of Mercedes’ last victory.

A year ago, George Russell’s maiden F1 win in Brazil was a rare glimmer of light in an otherwise drab year.

Can Mercedes strike again at the same race?

“Only fools are optimists,” Wolff said. “I’d rather keep both feet on the ground, qualify well, and hopefully we challenge.”

Wolff vowed that the recently upgrades to the W14 inspire confidence in what might lie ahead.

“Yes it does. It’s the route we’ve been going. We just need to add performance for next year.”

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