Toto Wolff says that Lewis Hamilton is “laser focused” on what he needs to do to secure his eighth World Championship.
The Mercedes driver is locked in a tight title fight with Max Verstappen and currently trails the Dutchman by five points with eight rounds to go.
The good news for him is that next up on the calendar is the Russian Grand Prix, a race that he and his team have enjoyed a huge amount of success at since it was added in 2014.
Wolff says his driver is extremely focused on the task ahead of him, while the team is calm yet driven.
“Our aim is to pull together a strong weekend, starting in FP1 and building one session at a time,” he said in the team’s preview for the race weekend.
“Lewis is in the tenth championship battle of his F1 career, and he is laser focused on what he needs to deliver in the next eight races.
“As for Valtteri [Bottas], he’s driving better than ever, like we saw in Monza – and he will be flat out every weekend.
“There’s a calm determination about the team right now and the business end of a season, fighting for championships, is exactly what we enjoy the most.”
Incredible weekend for VB. 💙
Back ➡️ Front pic.twitter.com/JHC3qhYyHN
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 12, 2021
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Hamilton would have fancied his chances of taking the lead of the standings last time out at Monza given how strong Mercedes are there.
That ultimately didn’t happen though, with him crashing out after contact with Verstappen.
While that was disappointing, Wolff took some positives from that weekend with the car looking strong and Bottas fighting his way to a podium after starting at the back.
“Last time out in Monza was bittersweet” said the Austrian.
“A commanding performance and strong result for Valtteri but a feeling of missed points for Lewis, who had the potential to fight for the win.
“The pleasing thing is that the W12 looks competitive and with just eight races to go, now is the time to use our experience and focus on the details and processes which will get us over the line.
“We’re looking forward to racing again in Russia, it is a circuit we’ve gone well at over the years and both our drivers have enjoyed great results in Sochi.
“We’re hoping to continue our run of success in Russia but know that this year is an entirely different beast, and we’re expecting another intense weekend.”
Russia must-win territory for Mercedes
Russian GP is must-win for Mercedes
With only one win in the last 10 races, victory in Sochi is crucial for Mercedes.