Mercedes: We can't celebrate until we understand our 'diva'
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says his team has no reason to celebrate in Formula 1 yet – because it needs to get to the bottom of its troublesome ‘diva’.
Although Lewis Hamilton has opened up a 59-point advantage in the F1 drivers’ standings following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement in Japan, Mercedes insists that there are no grounds for it to relax.
In fact, Wolff thinks that Mercedes now needs to knuckle down and use the final races of the campaign to work even harder to get to the bottom of why its car’s pace fluctuates so much circuit to circuit.
“There’s no change in approach. You just need to continue to look one race at a time,” said Wolff, when asked by Motorsport.com about how the championship situation would alter Mercedes’ attitude over the final races.
“We still have a ‘diva’ that needs to be understood. Also for the medium-term, and the way we look at things, is our performance relative to our main competitors.
“I wouldn’t say that we are utterly dominant against the Red Bull or Ferrari. We’ve benefited from Ferrari’s misfortune and reliability woes in the last three races, but it doesn’t mean that we are clapping ourselves on the back. On the contrary, I think we need to continue to push.”
Wolff concedes that holding such a good points margin over Ferrari with only four races to go is a huge boost, but says that the way Ferrari’s championship challenge has collapsed means that Mercedes must be mindful the same thing does not happen to them.
“If everyone runs at normal, it is a huge advantage,” he said. “But you can see how quickly it goes with Sebastian.
"He had a wipe out in Singapore, lost 25 points, wasn’t competitive in Malaysia, didn’t score a lot of points and had another problem here.
“You can see quickly it can swing. Therefore you need to have a humble attitude towards motor racing. It is what makes it exciting.
“There is always a certain degree of the unexpected that can happen and we won’t take our foot off the throttle until it is done.”
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