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Wolff: This year was most difficult

NEWS STORY
01/11/2017

Whatever way you play it, the fact remains that Mercedes has won four races more than its rivals combined this season, as the German manufacturer takes its fourth successive title under an engine formula in which it has won 62 of the 77 races contested (80%).

Nonetheless, improvements from his two main rivals this year leaves Toto Wolff insisting that this was the toughest season yet.

"This year was quite definitely the most difficult to manage," he says. "That was because Ferrari raised the bar, and then Red Bull came into the game as well.

"As a team, you are always in a more comfortable situation when you know that it is one of your two drivers who is going to win the championship. Obviously, it is not always easy keeping the rivalry within the team in check, but it was far removed from the struggles of this year. I'm very proud of the first one in 2014, because we were so keen to win it. But this one was the most hard fought of all."

Asked if he believes Lewis Hamilton is on the form of his life, the Austrian replies: "I've been working with him for five years now, and I've never seen him operate at such a high level.

"The raw pace is spectacular," he continues. "He understands the tyres and the ability of the car which, at times, hasn't been easy to drive. I haven't seen such a sustained performance on that level before.

"After a difficult moment in Abu Dhabi last year, we had a long evening in my kitchen, during the course of which we aired all the frustrations and issues that had grown over the years and got them out of the way. I think that we both felt a sense of relief, and that was when the relationship went to the next level. He went off into the winter break, and he came back with a great mind-set. He has grown stronger over the year.

"The relationship with Valtteri is also an important factor. We have a great spirit within the team. That was an important piece of the jigsaw."

Asked how he justifies his description of the W08 as a 'diva', when it has won both championships, registered the most victories and secured the most pole positions, he admits: "We plan to keep the characteristics of our diva that we like but to get rid of the ones that have caused us difficulties.

"Many of the teams have struggled to understand the new cars and tyres, why they function one day and not the other. If we look at the qualifying statistics and the race statistics, the W08 was the quickest car with the quickest driver. But we had some oscillations along the way, and we had some races where we struggled. We understand pretty well why that was the case. Now we just have to come up with a way of optimising it for next year. In the process, we will be leaving no stone unturned."

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1. Posted by Yeyox02, 01/11/2017 20:18

"It seems that Mr. Wolff is always bluffing, he is very similar to grandpa Ecclestone."

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