Wolff: Five Mercedes titles not possible without Hamilton

Published on 16 Nov 2018 10:34

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that Mercedes couldn't have won five world championships without the "extraordinary" Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes picked up its fifth championship in five years last weekend at Brazil following Hamilton's victory.

Mercedes dominated proceedings in the first three years of the turbo hybrid era, but faced a challenge from Ferrari in both 2017 and 2018. However the Silver Arrows came out on top, as did Hamilton against four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

When asked if Mercedes would have the same success without Hamilton, Wolff replied: “No, we wouldn’t have won five championships. He’s an extraordinary driver and an unbelievable personality, human is the right word, and therefore he has been an integral part of the team.

“He’s at the forefront of the car. There are many other exceptional people who have contributed to the success but clearly it wouldn’t have gone without him and it wouldn’t have gone without others either.”

Mercedes faced an increased challenge from Ferrari in 2018, however the Scuderia's fight dropped off in the second half of the year. While Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas didn't contend for the driver's title, Wolff says that his influence in the constructor's fight was "enormous".

"Valtteri's contribution was enormous,” Wolff said. “Until the Baku incident where he lost 25 points he was properly in the fight for the championship. Since then it has gone against him and he's kept his dignity and played a big role in supporting the team without losing his stature as a racing driver and as a racing driver that can win.

"I think it's an enormous mental struggle to know that you can't win anymore and you need to support your teammate, and he's achieved that. I think he will come back strong next year and will give Lewis and all the others a run for their money."

Replies (13)
DE juju_hound 16 Nov 2018 11:14+2
Posts: 166
For sake Baku was 4th race of the season, quite early to lost team's support and chances for Championship
US ajpennypacker 16 Nov 2018 15:570
Posts: 1404
Valeri had a puncture... What are you referring to?
SE calle.itw 16 Nov 2018 18:380
Posts: 5636
As 50 Shades of Wolff put it, or at the very least how its phrased in this article, he basically says Bottas' title chances died in Baku due to that puncture.
NL denis1304 16 Nov 2018 14:26+3
Posts: 214
i'm 100% sure it would be possible with Nico Rosberg instead Lewis Hamilton
next year with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas if Ferrari get's its act together i'm not so sure any more
DE juju_hound 16 Nov 2018 14:300
Posts: 166
If Charles will be competetive to Seb it will be hard to keep harmony in Ferrari
US ajpennypacker 16 Nov 2018 15:590
Posts: 1404
I don't think Ferrari would ever allow things to get out of hand. They never allow for two drivers to be fighting for the title. It's always controlled and boring.
SE calle.itw 16 Nov 2018 16:210
Posts: 5636
Yet this isnt quite the same Ferrari as the one we are used to. I think they will favour Vettel, and I think they will urge them to not race unless its beneficial to the team, but the fact that they did go out and hire a rookie is a very un-Ferrari move.
US ajpennypacker 16 Nov 2018 17:160
Posts: 1404
@Calle Perhaps Ferrari have finally learned their lesson. I hope so. It pays to have really talented drivers in spite of their youth. They're also a bargain, at least for the first few years. Charles Leclerc seems like a pretty special talent. But what's more unusual is how mature he is. No outbursts, no really embarrassing mistakes, no scandals. He's just been impressive all around. I'm not a Ferrari fan by any means, but I sure hope Ferrari have a good car next year to see what Charles can do.
SE calle.itw 16 Nov 2018 18:200
Posts: 5636
@AJPP Oh, so do I, sadly I dont think all lessons have been learned. Pressure, for example, is just as high as its always been it seems. And again they let Mercedes outdevelop them (albeit not as dramatically as during 2017 and 2016). Ferrari is just a bit too slow compared to RB and Merc' in terms of reaction speed in several areas. You are correct in that Leclerc seem pretty mature. Leclerc kinda remind me of Vandoorne in that regard, so I really want him to do well. Boy do I hope we get what we want for next year, and Ferrari and Red Bull will both be able to legit challenge Merc' for the title.
Posts: 265
Total BS. Perhaps this year without Hamilton Ferrari would have won. But for 4 years no contest.
Posts: 185
Please Toto if Bottas the wingman to Hamilton is a MAN he proves himself, if not he goes into history as follow the leader kind of guy. Anyway i hope Ferrari get is its act next year beating this boring Mercedes procession, Mercedes is killing F1 in the process.
Posts: 248
Sorry I don't agree - you cannot say Merc is killing F1 - what a ridiculous comment - surely you are not saying 'Merc need to de-tune their act for a couple of seasons' for the health of the sport - it's for the others to get their act together - and that includes the law-setters doing something around costs - something they appear inept at cracking. Let's not savage a winning team, c'mon. I was frustrated to hear all this talk of more races in the calendar - FIX THE PROBLEMS BEFORE BUILDING THE TOWER HIGHER.......
US mcbhargav 18 Nov 2018 19:190
Posts: 727
The engineers, designers, aerodynamists are the ones without which 5 titles wouldnt be possible. Alonso, Vettel would have got 5 titles instead of Hamilton with the same car.

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