As F1 is preparing to head to Turkey for the next championship round, Lewis Hamilton faces round 16 of 2021 with a 2-points-lead over Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, while the constructors’ championship keeps Mercedes on a 33-points-lead over the Milton-Keynes-based team.
The race weekend at Sochi however had one Briton heading on to win the race and it wasn’t Lewis Hamilton. The heartbreak was completed for Lando Norris as the rain poured down during the last 6 laps on Sunday, marking the path to the seven-times-world champion way to reach his 100th win in the category. The Mercedes Team Principal reflected on the team’s result after a hectic race in Russia.
“I think quali was always decisive, Valtteri going back, we knew it was difficult.”
“We ended up with the first and fifth, that is very good, no doubt about that and it’s Lewis’ 100th victory. But Max recovered pretty spectacular form and that is not good for the championship.”
“So in a nutshell, we just need to continue to be really aggressive in how we approach the season. Not be defensive, but just move forward in order to score these big points, because neither us nor the others are really good at maximising the points at the moment,” said Wolff, as reported by racefans.net
Reflecting on the last 99… 🤯 still can’t believe it. THANK YOU 💜 pic.twitter.com/tPAPxZeicZ— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 28, 2021
Wolff stated and put clear the perspective inside Mercedes even though the German team is currently leading Red Bull on the standings: “There are a few loose ends and it’s not only this weekend but also the last weekend. In a way, we are not maximizing on our point-scoring.”
When Wolff was asked if whether Lewis Hamilton would have gone past Lando Norris’ McLaren to win the race, he said “It’s difficult to say because Lewis was stuck behind Ricciardo at the beginning of the race, although we had DRS. So I think it would have been difficult to pass.”
“They had a fast car today and it was well managed from his side. I think they had a bit of a fuel worry, it seemed, and then when he picked up the pace, he was very quick.”
Mercedes team principal spoke about a potential engine change to Lewis Hamilton, considering Verstappen and Red Bull covered their way into that matter and still scored a 2nd place finish, despite having positioned last at the starting grid.
“At the moment we are assessing the performance of the power unit, because we have question marks, and therefore we haven’t decided which engines would go back into the pool.”
“it’s always reliability vs performance. It’s always the fine line that you need to get right, and having a DNF is a no goal for the championship, neither our competitors can afford a 0-point-race weekend.”
Wolff press conference ended with him being questioned whether the team had faked a pit-stop just to attract McLaren on changing Ricciardo tyres and then do not proceed on the #44 Mercedes.
“No, we didn’t. We would just have pitted but when we saw he [Ricciardo] pitted, we did the opposite.”