Shortly before Lewis Hamilton wins his sixth Formula 1 title, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is still amazed at the joint success streak.
“Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we see how far we’ve come. We never expected that, none of us did,” said Wolff before the USA Grand Prix.
At the third last race of the season in Austin on Sunday, Hamilton only needs to finish eighth to become World Champion again.
“It is an extraordinary journey on which we are together. This has a lot to do with the trust we have built,” said Wolff.
Hamilton had joined the Mercedes works team in 2013 and could equalise the record of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in his final year of the contract in 2020.
“Yes, that’s possible. But first of all, we have to keep building a car that is strong enough. Then he can break these records,” said Wolff.
The hunt for the Schumacher’s record could become “an exciting new goal” for Hamilton and the team, the Austrian assured. “Of course the pressure will grow. But if he wasn’t able to withstand this pressure, he wouldn’t be among the most successful driver of all time,” said the 47-year-old.
Conversely, ex Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld believes the Mercedes dynasty will come to an end in 2020, with Ferrari ready to take to the front.
“I think that next year we will see a distortion of the hierarchies, with Ferrari ready to take the lead,” Heidfeld told Sky.
“As unlikely as it may seem, there will come a time when Mercedes’ domination will end.”
“For Ferrari, the important thing is to learn from this year’s mistakes. They have the speed and pace to beat Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have understood this and are fighting to get the status of a leader.”
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