Wolff To Hamilton: Do Not Misjudge Your Own Performance
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has issued an indirect – but stern – warning to Lewis Hamilton ahead of Malaysia: do not misjudge the level of your own performance. Hamilton secured yet another victory for Mercedes at Singapore a couple of weeks ago, but many would argue that it’s a win squarely as a result of Ferrari’s misfortune – and not necessarily because Hamilton was any good at it at Singapore.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had been making the most of a circuit that largely favoured the automaker’s tight street circuit prowess when he collided with teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen from team Red Bull. Vettel recovered from the setback only to crash into a concrete wall after his car spun out of control on its own leaking fluids on the following open stretch.
Mercedes had not been doing all that great up until that point, having struggled on the long stretches and runs and performing surprisingly poor during a qualifying lap. Wolff’s message was clear; do not become arrogant and think that nothing can go wrong, because in sport, it can at any moment.
The Malaysian Grand Prix is a home race for Mercedes’ main sponsor, Petronas, and Hamilton will be looking to do them proud. Last year was a race that Hamilton would no doubt rather want to forget, having blown his engine during the final stages – this after having been dead set for a win. The Sepang International Circuit is a location that compliments Mercedes’ strengths, having made the 2016 end result just all that more disappointing.
Speaking to the press, Wolff said the Mercedes had a very close relationship with Malaysia – mainly thanks to the alliance with Petronas – and that Sepang had seen much drama and glory over years gone by. Sepang is a circuit that consists of sweeping corners and long straights – a climate and overall situation that is well suited for Mercedes.
Team Red Bull Ready On the Rev
Meanwhile in team Red Bull land, Max Verstappen looks back on last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix as having been a strong finish for the team. Red Bull secured a surprise one-two victory in 2016 and the Dutchman is no doubt hoping to recreate the stellar result.
The race at Sepang is known for its hot and humid conditions – and for being physically very taxing on drivers as well as pit crews. Red Bull is very much in need of adding some points to the overall tally.
Mercedes is currently at the top of the scoreboard and ahead of the pack by 28 points – this with a total of six races to go.
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