Toto Wolff says drivers who suggest Lewis Hamilton’s success is down to him being in the dominant Mercedes car should question why they themselves aren’t driving for the team.
Hamilton matched Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 victories by winning the Eifel Grand Prix, bringing his Mercedes tally up to 70 wins in less than eight years. One argument often leveled at extremely successful drivers is that their results are solely down to having the best car, but Wolff said the best drivers earn the right to that machinery.
“I read that, and in my opinion, that’s not quite fair,” Wolff said. “Winning races and winning championships is always a team exercise in this sport, but you need to put yourself in a position that you end up in the best car.
“You can see lots of talents and skilled drivers took wrong decisions, or not well-advised decisions, and in that respect it was him who joined Mercedes in 2013 and it is him that sits in the car and is able to execute on track with the tools that we provide to him, but it’s always the two that are part of this.
“We couldn’t achieve the records that we have (without him), and he probably couldn’t achieve the records (without) the right car, and full stop. I don’t want to allow these voices that say ‘well he drives a Mercedes, it’s obvious that he wins these races’. Well the drivers who say that, they should try and analyze why they haven’t found their way into a Mercedes.”
Having been a major part of Hamilton’s success – working with him since he joined Mercedes back in 2013 – Wolff finds it hard to compute that Schumacher’s record of wins has now been matched.
“It’s unbelievable that Lewis has reached those 91 wins,” he said. “For me, Michael stands above all, he’s an icon and personally equalizing that record and us synchronizing the Ferrari record is almost surreal.
“Records are here to be broken, and I think that’s what Michael said as well. And Lewis is still on his journey, but maybe there’s somebody in nursery or school that will one day (race) and go for the Lewis record and this how it should be.”