Summing up the stage in Portimao, the head of the Mercedes team Toto Wolff noted that Lewis Hamilton’s progress during the weekend was the maximum since the beginning of the season …
Q: Toto, congratulations! Another team double and a record win for Lewis Hamilton! What does this success mean to you?
Toto Wolff: When our collaboration with Lewis began in 2013, no one could have imagined that we would achieve such success. Ninety-two victories is some incredible number, it’s hard to believe even now!
Question Lewis is an amazing driver, but he does not stop there and continues to amaze everyone with his fantastic speed!
Toto Wolff: Lewis is distinguished by an incredible passion for racing, colossal hard work and the ability to perform at the highest level again and again, which cannot but delight!
Question Valtteri Bottas dominated from the beginning of the weekend, but Lewis, under pressure, managed to make progress and was out of reach in the race. How did he do it?
Toto Wolff: Perhaps for the first time this season, I have seen such a serious progress Lewis during the weekend. Hamilton spent a lot of time analyzing his results, trying to understand the behavior of the tires. In the early laps, he acted cautiously, and then increased speed and then kept a fantastic pace.
Q: When your riders have a chance to compete with each other, Lewis forces Valtteri to go at an uncomfortable pace, at which his tires wear out faster. We saw just such a scenario today, right?
Toto Wolff: Yes, Lewis has already in several races created such pressure for his partner, in which Valtteri had to attack more aggressively and lose in efficiency of the tires. Lewis is very good at strategic play.
Question Today, both of your riders took a while to bring the tires into the working range. Carlos Sainz headed the race for a few laps, starting at Soft – were you surprised?
Toto Wolff: I liked the start of the race! McLaren started at Soft, they managed to quickly warm up the tires, and you probably heard how the spectators were happy in the stands when Carlos Sainz took the lead. This is exactly the kind of battle Formula 1 needs! It’s good that in the end we managed to regain our position and win the winning double.
Q: How are you going to celebrate today’s success? We understand that there are only a few days before the stage in Imola, there are many restrictions due to Covid-19, but still, what are the plans?
Toto Wolff: I’ll head home, have dinner with my wife, and maybe allow myself to celebrate with a drink!
Q: With such results, the value of Lewis in the rider market is certainly higher than ever. You have to discuss another contract with him, moreover, Lewis himself said that everything will be decided in the next two months. Surely you are ready to sign the agreement right now, right?
Toto Wolff: You are right, Lewis is incredibly valuable! Looks like we’ll have to sell Team Motorhome to pay for his services! (laughs)