Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says he is “amazed” by the level of energy he is seeing back at the team’s factories as it chases a fifth straight championship double.
Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Italian Grand Prix moved him 30 points clear of Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ championship, while Mercedes also has a 25-point advantage in the constructors’ standings. Despite the title picture, Ferrari has appeared to have the quicker car in a number of recent races and Wolff says the reaction from his team behind the scenes has been impressive.
“We’re in the middle of a monumental championship fight and I’m simply amazed by the energy in Brackley and Brixworth at the moment,” Wolff said. “Each team member knows that we’re facing the biggest challenge in our recent history. But every man and woman in the team is willing to push themselves to the limit; we will be fighting with everything we’ve got for these two championships.”
Hamilton responded to Vettel’s win in Belgium with an unexpected success at Ferrari’s home race, but while Wolff said the result was a boost for the team he also pointed out how dominant Mercedes had been at Monza in the past. He also noted it didn’t necessarily portend anything for this weekend’s race on the streets of Singapore.
“We knew that the race in Monza would be another big challenge for us after the defeat at Spa, but we managed to prevail through a combination of individual skill and fantastic teamwork. However, we also know that we’ve been strong at Monza in recent years and the track characteristics make the Italian Grand Prix a bit of an outlier.
“Singapore, on the other hand, has features that we’ve struggled with in the past. The short straights, the slow, tight corners and the bumpy surface all make the Marina Bay street circuit one of the trickiest tracks of the season for us. In 2015, we endured one of our most painful experiences in recent years there.
“Last year, we started the race from the third row — and came home with a win and a third place. On paper, the track should favor the Ferraris, but the championship fight is so close that predictions are almost meaningless.”