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Lewis Hamilton

Wolff: Our car is the fastest on the grid

Lewis Hamilton

Although he acknowledges that the current Mercedes W08 is akin to a diva, team boss Toto Wolff believes it is the fastest car on the grid this season.

Speaking ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, Wolff said, ‘We’ve joked about it being a bit of a diva. But it’s a good car – though sometimes it can be difficult. This is something we have to accept so that we can understand and appreciate the many positive characteristics that it has. I believe our car is the fastest on the grid and I wouldn’t want any other.”

Indeed Mercedes bounced back from a below par Monaco Grand Prix weekend to score their first one-two victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, which resulted in the team topping the constructors’ standings after seven rounds.

Wolff explained, “Seeing all the analysis that had been done after Monaco come together so well in Canada gave us great satisfaction. Now, it’s about maintaining that momentum.”
 
“That’s the nice bit and also the difficult bit in Formula One. The last race doesn’t count any more. You’re being benchmarked constantly on the current performance. Public companies issue reports four times per year. We do it 20 times, on a very public platform – the race track.”
 
“When you have a bad day, you can either be downbeat about it or pull yourself up and start to act on it. This is what we have done. We moved on – and these are the days that make you progress much more than the good days. Like the old saying goes, success is a lousy teacher. Every time we’ve had a difficult weekend we have come back stronger. And that speaks volumes for the people in this team.”
 
“In this season, where it’s so close, you need to take it one race at a time and try to have the best package at each race – chassis, Power Unit, and drivers. This is how we are approaching it and that’s the only way.”
 
“It’s a long Championship. There will be weekends that are good and ones that are not so good. It’s about making the best out of it each time – maximising the points that are on the table during the difficult times and bringing the trophies home when everything does come together.”

Lewis Hamilton is second in the championship, and after a masterful weekend in Montreal he cut Sebastian Vettel’s lead in the drivers’ championship from 25 points to 12 points.
 
Wolff is full of praise for the triple F1 World Champion, “Lewis is in the best place I have seen him during any of the last five years since he joined the team.”

“Not only because he had a great weekend in Montreal – but because he is coping so well with the difficult days. This is what the very best are made of. When the fight gets tough, they get over it quickly and maximise their opportunities.”

As for Valtteri Bottas, Wolff is equally enthused, “Likewise, Valtteri is in a strong position. You would never think he joined the team very last minute over the winter and, after, seven Grands Prix, he has exceeded even our expectations.”

“He’s been on pole, won a race and challenged Lewis on both Saturday and Sundays. For him, it’s now just about putting it all together every single weekend and I have no doubt he will do that,” added Wolff.