Mercedes Still Struggling – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell told what to ‘sacrifice’ in final races by Toto Wolff
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been told to sacrifice getting second in the Constructors’ Championship to focus on securing a victory for Mercedes before the end of the year. Hamilton has battled Max Verstappen for victory at the last two races but has been unable to get the better of the Dutchman.
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After Mexico, Wolff maintained the team’s aim was to stand on the top step of the podium and try and chase down Ferrari for second in the teams’ standings. However, when pushed on which he would prefer, the Austrian said a victory was much more important.
He said: “A win. The win would prove that our car is back in the fight for wins. P2 could also be because other just dropped the ball and you are scoring more points.” Mercedes lies 40 points off the Prancing Horse in the standings after a resurgence from the Silver Arrows.
The German manufacturer has looked more competitive since they installed a series of new upgrades to the car. The team introduced an updated floor and new rear wing in Austin which helped Hamilton get a step closer to Verstappen.
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Toto Wolff wants Lewis Hamilton to focus on securing a win instead of P2 in the Constructors’ table (Image: Getty)
The Briton took the lead after a botched pit stop from Red Bull and was a handful of laps off from winning the race. The team then introduced a new front wing in Mexico which seemed to boost performance even more.
Russell even claimed the team had the “fastest car” on Saturday despite being unable to better Verstappen. Hamilton agreed with Wolff over the importance of standing on the top step of the podium at least once before the end of the campaign.
He explained: “Of course they deserve success. But this year we didn’t do the job that the others have done. It would be beautiful, such a blessing, if we did get a win. I think the emotions that would come out would be unmeasurable.
“But if it doesn’t come, that’s okay. We just take that energy that we feel – there is a huge amount of hope. We know where the car isn’t great and we know where to put it to make it better. So that’s what we are focused towards.”
Hamilton has two races left to maintain his F1 record of winning a Grand Prix in every season he has competed in the sport. The run spans from his debut with McLaren in 2007 but looks likely to end as Verstappen’s dominant form continues.
Wolff added: “There’s no reason to be overwhelmed finishing second and fourth, but we have a long way to catch up. We have the winter and I think we’re doing some good development on the car and some of the biggest steps might be more than just adding a few points of downforce.
“We’re giving it whatever we have and more in order to bring us back in a position to fight for a championship.”