Mercedes vows to "go for broke" now that titles are won
Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff has pledged the manufacturer will “really go for broke” in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix now both titles have been secured.
Mercedes spent the last few races prioritising its championship bids, making sure it outscored Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton defeated Sebastian Vettel, as Red Bull and Max Verstappen emerged as a regular threat for race wins.
“For now, we have one race to go in 2018 and we want to put on a great show for the fans who supported us through the season,” said Wolff, who called Mercedes’ title celebrations “a very humbling experience”.
“The championship pressure is off, so we can look at this as one race where we can really go for broke.
“Our ‘Silver Arrow’ has won 10 races so far this season and we all want to add one more to that score - especially Valtteri [Bottas], who has lost out on wins this season through bad luck and team orders.
“We know it will be a tough battle because both Red Bull and Ferrari will have the same target of taking good momentum into the winter.”
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Newly-crowned world champion Hamilton won the previous grand prix in Brazil thanks to Max Verstappen’s controversial clash with Esteban Ocon.
However, Hamilton suffered engine damage during the race and it is unknown if it will affect his Abu Dhabi GP by forcing him to run a high-mileage or turned-down engine, or take a grid penalty to fit a new one.
Bottas, who is winless in 2018, may represent Mercedes’ best chance and Abu Dhabi marked the scene of his most recent F1 victory last year as he comfortably led the way from pole.
Mercedes may also be able to count on an upturn in form at the Yas Marina circuit, having struggled with tyre management at previous races.
“We have taken four wins in a row at Yas Marina, although it's a track with a lot of slow and medium speed corners,” said Wolff.
“We've made some good steps forward when it comes to our car's performance on similar tracks, so we're confident that we can perform strongly in Abu Dhabi as well, and end this incredible 2018 season on a high.”
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Toto Wollf, Mercedes AMG F1 with the team
Photo by: Daimler AG
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