Mercedes boss Toto Wolff focused more on team struggle than F1 title in Mexico
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he was so upset about the teams’ poor race performance that he didn’t congratulate Lewis Hamilton on his championship win over the radio when the checkered flag fell in the F1 Mexican Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton clinched his fifth Formula 1 world championship title in Mexico on Sunday afternoon. The outcome puts him level with Juan-Manuel Fangio in terms of championship wins with only Michael Schumacher’s seven crowns ahead of him, but Wolff was more focused on the Mercedes’ apparent lack of speed in the high altitude of Mexico City – both Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas finishing well over a minute behind winner Max Verstappen.
“It’s a fantastic title and I’m so happy for Lewis and the team,” said Wolff. “It’s all bitter sweet. We had a very bad race which we need to understand and in our mind that plays such a big role, but we should be happy about the championship.”
“I didn’t say anything (to Hamilton at the end of the race) because I was just so upset about the race performance that I need to get myself together I guess
“The drivers’ (championship) is obviously the one that is really important for the visibility, but the constructors’ is still out there and we need to perform strong in Brazil.”
Three of Hamilton’s world titles have been won without the Mercedes driver finishing on the podium.
For McLaren in 2008 and w with Mercedes in both 2017 and 2018 and Wolff struggled to explain why it suddenly becomes so hard to achieve a result when it comes to crossing the line:
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’ve seen it with other teams too. It’s about finishing in a certain position and you can see everybody seems to struggle.”
“We had the same situation in DTM (German Touring Cars) and when you look at Formula 1, the past championship, it was always like this.”