The Mercedes boss is relishing a close fight at the US Grand Prix in Texas.
Mercedes is ready to face ‘whatever comes’ at this weekend’s pivotal US Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton hunts down Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, according to team Principal Toto Wolff.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton has won five of the eight F1 races which have taken place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas since its addition to the calendar in 2012, and a victory here could be absolutely crucial with Red Bull’s Verstappen currently six points ahead in the standings.
There are six races left to go before a winner is crowned and, writing his pre-race notes on the Mercedes website, Wolff was in bullish mood about the team’s performance at Istanbul Park last time out and their willingness to fight for both championships.
“It was encouraging to see our positive performance momentum continue last time out in Turkey,” Wolff wrote. “Istanbul was a dominant performance from Valtteri in tricky conditions, taking his first win of the season. A faultless drive from him and he was in control of the race from the very beginning.
“It’s a brilliant boost for him and the team heading into the final part of the season and helping us to extend our lead in the Constructors’ standings. We haven’t scored back-to-back race wins in a little while, so naturally spirits have been high in the factories since we returned from Istanbul.”
Hamilton fought back from an engine penalty which demoted him to 11th on the grid to finish fifth in Turkey, but argued with race engineer Peter Bonnington throughout the closing stages of the race after the team brought him for a pit stop to change onto a fresh set of intermediate tyres. Wolff says that result is now behind them.
“For Lewis, the absolute view of Turkey is that he lost one point more than Max did in the previous race in Russia with a similar engine change, which we can live with,” the Austrian explained. “The relative view when you’re in the heat of a race is to always want another position, to score more points – that’s who we are as racers and we wouldn’t want that competitive intensity any other way.
Wolff explained that the team and both drivers are thinking positively ahead of their trip to Texas, which is a popular track among drivers and fans.
“This season has had so many twists and turns, so we’re ready to react to whatever comes our way this weekend in Texas. We’re excited to be back in Austin for the first time since 2019, it’s always a popular stop on the calendar and we can’t wait to see all the passionate American fans.
“The Circuit of the Americas is a fun track for the drivers. There are some really fast and flowing corners, plus some technical sections and good overtaking opportunities. It’s got a bit of everything and is a great track for racing, so I’m sure we’re set for an entertaining Grand Prix.”