Mercedes heads to Abu Dhabi with "a point to prove"


"That'll teach him," was the thought that surely crossed the minds of some F1 fans in the aftermath of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

As if things weren't bad enough, what with Valtteri Bottas retiring with an engine-related issue, Lewis Hamilton was subsequently handed a time penalty for his clash with Alex Albon that dropped him from third to seventh.

And all this on the weekend that Toto Wolff missed his first race weekend with the team since 2013.

Still coming to terms with Interlagos, Wolff admits that despite wrapping up both titles for a record sixth successive season, his team heads to Abu Dhabi with a point to prove.

"Brazil was a disappointing race for us; we did not have the fastest car on track and we lost a lot of points owing to our own mistakes," says the Austrian.

"We analysed what went wrong, both in terms of our reliability and our decisions during the race, to make sure we don't repeat them," he added. "It was a good learning experience for the entire team and something that will make us stronger in the long run.

"The underperformance in Brazil means we head to Abu Dhabi with a point to prove. Yas Marina has been a good circuit for us in the last years and we'll push hard to continue in the same way.

"The race is one last opportunity for us to add another victory to the record of the W10 and it's one more chance to put on a great show for the fans before the winter break. We're looking forward to the fight because we know that in Formula One, you're only as good as your last result.

"This season has been a real rollercoaster for us," he admits. "We've seen great on-track battles and we've loved the competition. We are very proud that we came out on top and managed to put the Mercedes name in the history books of Formula One with our sixth consecutive double title.

"On the other hand, it's been an incredibly hard year where we had to say goodbye to too many friends. We were hit hard by the passing of Charlie, Niki and Anthoine, as well as important members from our team who we have tragically lost this year.

"At Mercedes, Niki left a void that we will never be able to replace - as a source of inspiration, as a voice of reason, but most importantly as a great friend. We hope we did you proud, Niki."

Despite the disappointment of Brazil, other than that sixth successive team title, Valtteri Bottas cannot be overhauled in the Drivers' Championship, thereby giving Mercedes a driver 1-2 also.

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Published: 27/11/2019
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