Wolff knows tougher tests will come as race hots up

Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas celebrate the Mercedes AMG Petronas one-two with the team
Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas celebrate the Mercedes AMG Petronas one-two with the team

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff says the Singapore Grand Prix will be all about damage limitation.

The Brackley team produced a one-two in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton now has the lead in the FIA f1 Drivers’ Championship.

If the team delivers another perfect performance like this weekend, that will be a very good starting point

Team boss Toto Wolff

The Mercedes driver scored his 59th career Formula One victory, his sixth of the season and second in a row. It was his fourth Italian Grand Prix win, second only to Michael Schumacher’s five.

Hamilton’s margin of victory was 4.471 seconds over his Brackley team-mate, Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton came into Monza trailing previous leader and Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel by seven points but he now holds a three-point advantage over the German driver.

But Wolff said: “I’m absolutely delighted with a one-two finish in Monza, at such an important and historic race. The main thing is we took 43 points for the constructors’ championship and 25 points for the drivers.

“Lewis delivered a perfect weekend, from the impressive pole position to a faultless race drive. As for Valtteri, he bounced back from the disappointment of Spa in a great way for a very strong second place finish.

“We have made the most of our opportunity this weekend and it was important to do so because we know Singapore will be more like a case of damage limitation for us. We will approach the next race with healthy scepticism, leave no stone unturned and aim to deliver every bit of performance that we can.

“If the team delivers another perfect performance like this weekend, that will be a very good starting point.”

Hamilton said: “This is obviously an incredibly exciting season; the last two races have been really strong for us as a team. The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional.

“The car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint. As we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres. Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through.

“It is amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long time and claim the lead in the championship. But the fight will continue, the Ferraris have been really quick this season, especially on the high-downforce tracks.”

Bottas added: “Starting fourth, finishing second – I’m quite happy with that. But what I’m really happy about is the one-two for the team.

“Looking forward, we know that we still have a lot of work to do, the races ahead will be a close battle with Ferrari.”