Toto Wolff believes it would not have been possible for Mercedes to claim five Formula 1 world constructors’ championships in a row without Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes continued its clean sweeps of titles throughout the V6 hybrid era by wrapping up a fifth straight constructors’ championship in Brazil, which added to the fifth world title secured by Hamilton at the previous round in Mexico.
Four of Hamilton’s drivers’ titles have been claimed since joining Mercedes in 2013, with the Briton recording a staggering 50 wins from 99 races in F1’s current regulation cycle.
When asked if Mercedes would have been multiple world champions without Hamilton, Wolff replied: “No, we wouldn’t have won five championships.
“He’s an extraordinary driver and an unbelievable personality, human is the right word, and therefore he has been an integral part of the team.
“He’s at the forefront of the car. There are many other exceptional people who have contributed to the success but clearly it wouldn’t have gone without him and it wouldn’t have gone without others either.”
Wolff recently described the team’s latest triumph as its “most difficult” to achieve, given the German manufacturer’s intense, season-long battle with Ferrari.
He also praised the “enormous” contribution made by Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas. Wolff said Bottas’ misfortune early on in the campaign ultimately resulted in him playing a supporting role in Hamilton’s title bid, and he tipped the Finn to bounce back strongly in 2019.
"Valtteri's contribution was enormous,” Wolff explained. “Until the Baku incident where he lost 25 points he was properly in the fight for the championship.
“Since then it has gone against him and he's kept his dignity and played a big role in supporting the team without losing his stature as a racing driver and as a racing driver that can win.
"I think it's an enormous mental struggle to know that you can't win anymore and you need to support your teammate, and he's achieved that. I think he will come back strong next year and will give Lewis and all the others a run for their money."