Wolff salutes Mercedes team after success in Singapore

Nico Rosberg on his way to victory in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg on his way to victory in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix

Toto Wolff was full of praise his Mercedes AMG Petronas team following success in the Singapore Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg won Sunday’s race to take over the lead in the FIA F1 Drivers’ Championship after Brackley team-mate Lewis Hamilton could only finish third behind Daniel Ricciardo.

A year ago at this circuit we were nowhere, now we have come away with a double podium and an amazing win

Team boss Toto Wolff

Wolff said: “Nico did a perfect job, he managed his race in the most controlled way, all the way to the final metres.

“We wanted to make a third stop with him but [Daniel] Ricciardo put in a stunning out-lap after his final stop and Nico had traffic on the lap, which cost him time.

“When those factors combined, they meant he would have lost the position, so he had to tough it out in the lead and he just made it. Initially we thought it would be comfortable.

“It became clear it would be very close and we saved all the tricks and engine modes for the final laps so he could fend off Ricciardo.

“As for Lewis, it was a great recovery to come back to the podium after a difficult first half of the race and a tricky weekend.

“It just shows how important all the practice laps are if you want to reach the perfect set-up and preparation for the race and we didn’t give those to Lewis this weekend.

“A year ago at this circuit, we were nowhere, now we have come away with a double podium and an amazing win.

“It shows that we are able to learn the lessons of our failures and turn them into strengths. Next we head to Malaysia, another circuit where we failed to win last year, and we will be aiming to turn that around, too.”

Rosberg, who now has an eight-point advantage over world champion Hamilton, said: “In the past the Singapore track has not treated me so well, so this win is a very special one and an even more emotional one for me.

“It was a bit tight after Daniel [Ricciardo] did a clever pit stop timing wise. If I had pitted I would have come out behind him because I was stuck in traffic on my in-lap, so we chose the best strategy to stay out.

“It’s great that we learned from our mistakes last year and won at what is clearly a Red Bull track.”

Hamilton added: “At one stage it looked like I might even miss out on the podium but fortunately it didn’t work out that way.

“If that’s the worst weekend of the year, I’ll definitely take it. These things are sent to try us and now I’m just looking forward to the next one and a chance to give it another shot.

“I need a couple of strong weekends to get back to where I need to be.”