Toto Wolff has rubbished suggestions Mercedes is alone in the title race, saying “one DNF and all the gap is gone”.
Hamilton raced to his second victory of the championship, Mercedes’ third in three races, at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Such was the Brit’s pace on the day that he took the chequered flag nine seconds ahead of Max Verstappen and lapped everyone up to and including sixth placed Sebastian Vettel.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 20, 2020
25 points for the win and an additional one for fastest lap and Hamilton is now leading the Drivers’ Championship on 63 points, five ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
Worryingly for Mercedes’ rivals, third placed Verstappen has already less than half Hamilton’s points.
Asked after Hungary if he could imagine a scenario where Hamilton doesn’t win a seventh title this season, Vettel said: “Only if Valtteri wins the championship.”
His team-mate Charles Leclerc agrees it is a two-horse but one-team race.
“I think Lewis is obviously the main contender,” said the Ferrari driver. “The only one that could probably stop him doing that is Valtteri.”
Wolff, however, is adamant it is not done and dusted.
Even if the season is a shortened one, the Mercedes motorsport boss fears all it will take is one retirement for Hamilton, or Bottas, and that changes the face of the championship.
“I’m not sure I’m seeing the competition fall apart because you can see that Red Bull was struggling all through the weekend and then they had a pretty decent race car, a car that didn’t look like it could start and the mechanics did a really awesome job on the car there,” he told F1.com.
“The gaps are nothing. If you look at the Driver points’ standing, it’s 30 points that after three races we have with Lewis to Max. So you have one DNF and all the gap is gone, so we just need to keep going.
“We mustn’t be carried away with thinking we are the greatest, because then you start quickly losing.”
“I think it’s important to pick up every point and I’ve always said that every session needs to be optimised, and every race weekend needs to be optimised to collect points,.
“And in a way, the achievement of the team scoring three victories out of three races is something we can be proud of.
“The gaps are never big enough in order to get comfortable and we need to continue to work. There’s another three races that will be very important and hopefully good ones for us, but I’m relieved once it’s done – and we haven’t even done 20% of the championship yet, so we have to continue to push.”