WOLFF: HAMILTON MUST NOT GET COMPLACENT

Toto Wolff says it is too soon for Mercedes to cheer after Lewis Hamilton victory in Singapore as he and Mercedes are now in pole position to claim another drivers’ title.

From the width of Toto Wolff’s grin here in Singapore, one might have guessed that Mercedes had just won the drivers’ and constructors’ titles for the fourth year running. But the team’s head of motorsport recalled how this was precisely the point, 12 months ago, when Lewis Hamilton’s championship quest collapsed.

Hamilton had been leading from pole in Malaysia, where Formula One heads next in two weeks’ time, when his engine expired to give team-mate Nico Rosberg an advantage that he never relinquished.

This time around, the equation is starkly different, Hamilton is 28 points clear of arch-rival Sebastian Vettel with six races left, as he chases a fourth world title, but Wolff has seen the fickle shifts in fortune that can tilt the balance.

“We mustn’t drop the ball,” he said, after Vettel threw away his chance of victory at Marina Bay by colliding with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen before the first corner.

“We just need to continue with the job as there’s plenty of time for cheering when we have actually done it,” he added.

This was at odds with the verdict of Niki Lauda, Mercedes’ bluff chairman and himself a three-time champion, who described Hamilton’s surprise win from fifth in Singapore as a “preliminary decision” on a Hamilton coronation.
Wolff expressed sympathy for Ferrari, but there could be no disputing the change in championship momentum as Mercedes crushed their fellow frontrunners by 40 points to nil.

Speaking further, Wolff said that he really feels for Ferrari, saying that he had also been in a similar position of losing both cars and that he can relate to how awful such an event can be.