Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Italian Grand Prix acted as the turning point in the 2018 Formula 1 title fight.

A strong second half of 2018 and a development push helped Mercedes beat rivals Ferrari to both world championships as the German manufacturer maintained its perfect record of winning every single title on offer since the start of the V6 hybrid era in 2014.

Wolff highlighted Mercedes’ ability to bounce back from the disappointment of losing Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone to beat Ferrari on its own turf at Monza four races later as being key moments in the campaign.

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“There were two moments, one very difficult, one where it actually turned in our favour,” Wolff said at the end-of-season prize giving ceremony in St Petersburg.

“The very difficult one was losing the British Grand Prix. As you can imagine, it’s Lewis’ home grand prix and our team is based in Brackley.

“Losing on a track where it was a track where we’ve always performed well was very difficult. But we collected all the energy within the organisation and came back strong.”

Ferrari locked out the front-row at Monza but Hamilton came out on top of a duel that sent Sebastian Vettel spinning on the first lap before later passing Kimi Raikkonen on his way to securing victory.

The win set up a run of four consecutive victories between Italy and Japan that proved pivotal in Hamilton’s march to his fifth drivers’ crown.

“For me the turning point was Monza, because we were able to win in Italy, and from then on we had a few grands prix where we were extremely strong,” Wolff explained.

“We were extremely strong in Singapore which was not our favourite track in the past, and we were able to just have a really good car and Lewis had an unbelievable lap to qualify on pole.

“This is where I felt the momentum go in our direction.”

 

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