Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda,Lewis Hamilton

Wolff: We had to dig deeper this year

Toto Wolff, Niki Lauda,Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is not resting on his world champion team’s laurels as the team head for the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, determined to end the season on a high at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend while acknowledging that this season they faced bigger challenges from their rivals.

Speaking ahead of the race, he said, “We head to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2017 season with the same hunger and fire in our stomach that we took to Melbourne over seven months ago. During that time, we have pushed ourselves to new limits, bounced back from painful defeats and conquered new and unexpected challenges.”

“Spurred on by strong rivals, we had to dig deeper this year than ever before. And that battle made both titles the most satisfying yet. Our target was to become the first team to win championships across a major regulation change and we are proud to have achieved that.”

“But regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship. Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our “diva” in her final race – and to win.”

“We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, both circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did, and this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year. But we have not been on the top step of the podium since Austin and we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi.”

“Yas Marina is a circuit that holds intense memories for the team, with two title showdowns in the past three seasons. We have claimed three consecutive wins and very much intend to make it four this year.”

“The circuit offers a range of slow to medium speed corners that perhaps are not our car’s most natural habitat, but our recent steps forward give us confidence that we can perform strongly there.”

“Valtteri is on an upward swing of form, with two podiums in the past two races; and Lewis will be aiming to finish this historic season on a high. This is a goal that we all share,” concluded Wolff.

Mercedes wrapped up the Formula 1 constructors’ title after the United States Grand Prix with three races remaining in the championship, while Lewis Hamilton claimed the drivers’ title a race later, in Mexico with two races still to run.