Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s Ferrari comment speaks volumes ahead of Abu Dhabi GP
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has insisted that he does not place much emphasis on the Silver Arrows’ competition with Ferrari for second place in the Constructors’ Championship. Red Bull sewed up the top spot several races ago, but the battle for silver is set to go down to the final weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mercedes lead Ferrari by just four points and all is still to play for in the United Arab Emirates. However, after leading his team to five consecutive double world championships – the only principal in history to do so – Wolff has played down the race for second and instead wants to be fighting for titles again.
“I think we’re going there on pretty much equal points [with Ferrari]… then let’s race,” said Wolff. “It’s all down to the last weekend. They are very quick, they’ve done a good job. I think we could have been on par today but the result shows something different, so let’s race.
“To be honest, it’s good to have P2 as a positive to finish the season, but P2, P3 for me, there is little… it doesn’t make me particularly cheery anyway. How do you say – it doesn’t make [this year] better for me.”
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Those comments will be music to the ears of Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Mercedes supporters as Wolff clearly does not want to settle for second best. Max Verstappen has won the last three Drivers’ Championships and Red Bull have beaten the Silver Arrows to the Constructors’ title two years in a row.
Hamilton confirmed his place as third this season, behind Verstappen and Sergio Perez, after a dismal Las Vegas Grand Prix. The Brit was out in Q2 and suffered a puncture during Sunday’s race that saw him fall to the back of the grid, before recovering to finish seventh.
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“Would have, should have, could have,” Wolff added. “We looked at the pace in free air and we had the pace of the leaders. When Lewis had no traffic that was pretty much where [Charles] Leclerc was racing in terms of lap times.
“It summarises the season. You make your own luck, but we had more bad luck and today. Seventh, eighth – the two cars could have been on the podium, but they weren’t.”
Work behind the scenes will be ongoing at Mercedes on next year’s car as they hope to go toe-to-toe with Red Bull once again and Wolff’s intentions have been made perfectly clear – he wants to challenge at the very top of the grid and compete for more titles.
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