Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Maybe that race looked straightforward from the outside but it really wasn’t from within the team. It all began at Turn One when Lewis flat spotted his front right tyre under braking. That gave us a really tough call to make because we could see the vibrations getting worse and some of the peaks he was hitting were pretty scary. In any normal race we would have pitted him because of the risk of tyre failure or maybe worse but of course today that stop would have cost him the Championship. We had a lot of debate with the engineers, balancing the positive and negative aspects of the decision, and we were monitoring the numbers every single lap. But in the end, some of Lewis’ bad luck this year got cancelled out today by making it through this situation and we pulled him into the pits as early as we could to make the one-stop strategy work. From there, he was able to control his pace all the way to the end, in spite of some high exhaust temperatures that meant we were juggling with engine modes to look after everything properly. For Nico, it was a bit tougher today as he was at risk from the Red Bulls through the race. Under some big pressure, he didn’t put a foot wrong, kept a cool head and finished in a very solid second position, managing the same temperature issues as Lewis in the final laps. Overall, it was a great day, with Lewis showing he is one of the greats of our sport by equalling Prost’s record of 51 wins. Congratulations to him for this incredible achievement. And now we head to Brazil with everything delicately poised. Lewis will keep fighting to the end but the championship is now in Nico’s hands – a win in Sao Paulo could make him Champion. Our job is simple: to give the boys a perfect, fault-free car to battle it out on track and that will be the entire focus of our preparations.