It is widely known that Lewis Hamilton has a 62-point lead at the top of the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship. The Brit has already been so dominant in 2019 that there are many in Formula 1 forecasting Lewis Hamilton winning his sixth world championship and concluding the season once again with an 80-point plus lead. However, Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff is not one of those people and he is all too aware that situations can change quickly at the pinnacle of motorsport.
As well as setting the pace in the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship, Mercedes is well out in front of the chasing pack in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship as well due to holding a surely unbeatable 150-point lead over Ferrari. The Prancing Horse, should be more worried about losing second place to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing before having any aspiration of chasing down the Silver Arrows. Once again though, Toto Wolff does not see either title as a foregone conclusion.
Twitter and Social Media in general, is one of the major ways a lot of Formula 1 teams break news to fans and one of their recent posts shared a link to an exclusive interview with Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff and if any further proof was needed, it showed Mercedes know there are still many battles ahead this season….we as fans should certainly hope there are.
"We're leading in both championships, but it doesn't feel that way. In the last few years, we saw teams perform very strongly after summer shutdown, so we now we need to keep pushing.
"In that respect, we're approaching the start to the second half of 2019 more like the start to a completely new season - once again we need to make sure that we leave no room for error and keep raising the bar.
As far as the supposed ‘summer shutdown’ goes, Mercedes has managed to keep one or two avenues going.
"Summer shutdown was a welcome break after some very busy weeks in July and early August, but now we're excited to go racing again. While the majority of our colleagues in Brackley had the chance to recharge their batteries for the second half of the season, other team members were carrying the baton over the past weeks.
"Our team members in Brixworth worked straight through the F1 summer break to improve the performance and reliability of our Power Unit; in Brackley, we used the relatively quiet days to do some work on our factory.
"It's great to come back from the summer break knowing that part of the team was still pushing flat out, and we are grateful to our colleagues who kept the ball rolling while we were out of office."
Should Mercedes be successful over the next three races, surely they would claim yet another F1 Constructors’ title but Toto Wolff is unsure as to how realistic their chances of being victorious at Spa-Francorchamps are:
"We're very excited for the upcoming months with historic races like Belgium and Italy followed by the Singapore night race and many other fantastic events. The next stop takes us to Spa, one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar.
"Finding the right set-up is tricky because the track has a challenging mix of long straights, a wide range of corner speeds and also considerable elevation changes.
"The weather can also be somewhat unpredictable in the Ardennes which can make the sessions very interesting. We're looking forward to the fight."
We should certainly hope it will be a fight because if the Constructors’ title was sewn up quickly by Mercedes this would be a worrying issue for Formula 1 and would signal a 6th consecutive F1 Constructors’ title for the Brackley based motorsport giant. As for the Drivers’ Championship, Lewis Hamilton held an 88-point lead over runner-up Sebastian Vettel when the 2018 season concluded in Abu Dhabi and the way things are going the 5-time F1 champion could even achieve a 100-point plus lead by season’s end this time around.
Toto Wolff says that his team ‘need to keep pushing’ and with that being the case, Formula 1 may well be pushed to the limit unless a realistic title challenger comes up against the Silver Arrows next season. All signs though point to the very realistic chance of Mercedes achieving a 7th F1 Constructors’ title in a row by the end of 2020. You have to wonder though, with falling viewing figures, how many people would still be around watching if they did?
For now, that is a worry for another day but a realistic worry at that.