Wolff: "Exceptional" displays now Hamilton’s standard in F1

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes it “makes no sense” to discuss Lewis Hamilton’s “exceptional” Formula 1 performances, saying they are now his regular standard.

Wolff: "Exceptional" displays now Hamilton’s standard in F1

Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton scored the 97th victory of his career in Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix, passing Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas en route to the race win.

Hamilton said after his win that he found the race mentally and physically draining, having recovered from a slip-up on the restart after the safety car that dropped him to third place.

Mercedes has found itself neck-and-neck with Red Bull in the early part of the 2021 season, marking its closest title challenge since it scrapped with Ferrari in 2018.

Asked whether it had been a magic Hamilton display that had been the difference against Red Bull at Portimao, Mercedes chief Wolff said his high level performance was simply the standard he sets himself.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“I think we had a good car, [it was] first time we were really able to compete for pole,” Wolff said.

“Maybe we were a tenth off. A good race car, but again, also very close to the Red Bulls, and he just drove an immaculate race.

“It makes no sense to talk about these exceptional Lewis performances, because they have been quite regular.

“It’s his standard now, and I think he sets that standard to himself.”

The result marked Hamilton’s second victory of the 2021 season, allowing him to open up an eight-point lead in the drivers’ championship over Red Bull rival Verstappen.

Hamilton and Verstappen have fought on-track at all three races so far this year, but have been fair in their battles.

Read Also:

Wolff said he expected the on-track fights to remain respectful as both knew how costly a DNF could be to their title hopes.

“I think they are not crossing the line on the track yet, because the risk of losing points is just too big,” Wolff said.

“But it’s going to go head-to-head, and certainly the rivalry may increase or not.

“I see Lewis completely relaxed about the situation. He enjoys every bit working with the team and getting us up to speed because we weren’t there.

“It’s just a fun place.”

Mercedes also managed to extend its lead in the constructors’ championship over Red Bull to 18 points thanks to a double-podium finish, with Bottas taking third place.

Asked by Autosport if he expected to be in such a position during Mercedes’ difficult pre-season test running, Wolff replied: “No, I wouldn’t have believed that, because I am so in a way reliant on probabilities and math.

“Based on these facts, I wouldn’t have expected to be on pole twice and winning two races. That was not what my brain would have told me.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why the FIA doesn't buy Red Bull's track limits gripes
Previous article

Why the FIA doesn't buy Red Bull's track limits gripes

Next article

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022