Ferrari gains mean Mercedes must ‘extract absolutely everything’

Mercedes finished first and second in Russia, with Lewis Hamilton leading home Valtteri Bottas after Sebastian Vettel’s retirement cost Charles Leclerc the lead. That ended a run of three straight victories for Ferrari since the summer break, and Wolff says the gains that the Scuderia has made do not leave any margin for error for his team, despite its commanding lead in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

 (Photo by Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)

“Claiming a 1-2 in Sochi after three races without a win was a great feeling,” Wolff said. “We delivered a strong race in Russia, made the most of our opportunities and both Lewis and Valtteri drove flawlessly. We brought home 44 points, built the gap in both championships and are highly motivated to keep our foot on the throttle for the remaining five races.

Wolff had already confirmed that there would be limited new parts introduced at Suzuka having not upgraded the car significantly since the mid-season shutdown, but he’s still wary that Ferrari could end Mercedes’ dominance at the circuit.

“The next race takes us to the iconic Suzuka Circuit with its exhilarating corner sequences and highly enthusiastic fans. We have a strong track record there, having won every Japanese Grand Prix in the hybrid era, but we expect this year to be challenging given the strength of our opponents. It will be a very close battle on track — and one that we very much look forward to. Our targets for the final quarter of the season is clear and it’s up to us to make sure we achieve them.”

Source: Racer   Image: LAT