‘You would have thought Hamilton finished P15’

Date published: September 1 2020

Lewis Hamilton

Toto Wolff has said Lewis Hamilton’s relentless pursuit of perfection makes him “truly inspirational” to the Mercedes team.

Hamilton cruised to a fifth win of the 2020 season and extended his World Championship lead to 47 points at the Belgian Grand Prix.

But, in the Mercedes debriefs, Wolff said that you would think Hamilton finished P15 instead of P1 with the way he analyses and picks apart at his performance.

“One of his character traits, which is truly inspirational for the whole team, is that as a person off track and a driver in the car he is just always able to improve,” Wolff told Channel 4.

“He reflects a lot. You would think that a six-time World Champion, a global superstar of the sport, should say at a certain stage ‘that is good, what I’m doing’ but he would never do this.

“He would always try to optimise. When you get him into the briefing you would think he finished 15th.

“I think this is the correct character trait that is truly different.”

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

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Asked if he felt Hamilton would walk away from Formula 1 if he is not being challenged, Wolff replied: “Well I think he is being challenged.

“The challenge for him is to drive to perfection. There is still the [Michael] Schumacher record out there which he can achieve if he continues to perform and in that respect he just never stops.

“I would be very happy [if Lewis beats the title record] because that would mean 10 years of success between Lewis and Mercedes.

“It would like how Michael shaped the Ferrari years. I remember as a fan back then that it was a bit dull, Ferrari winning, 1-2 , and I understand [the frustration] but the records are there to be broken.”

Wolff was also questioned about whether Mercedes are getting bored of winning given the muted celebrations of late, but the Silver Arrows boss says the joy of winning still overcomes the pain of losing.

“We have laughed together over the joy of winning,” Wolff added.

The joy of winning ends in the aeroplane on the way back home. The pain of losing hangs above us like a black cloud for four or five days, so we try to avoid that!”

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