• INSIGHT: Toto Looks Ahead to Second Half of 2018

Toto talks team-mate dynamics, expectations and more...

- The team is in a particularly strong position going into the second half of the season...

TW: "It is irrelevant whether you lead the Championship after shutdown or not, because there are nine more races to go. Leading with the tiniest of margins doesn't make any difference."

- What has made this season such a great commercial for Formula One?

TW: "Well, what is important in Formula One is the fight among great drivers and great teams. We have seen that, in this season between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes, there has been a tough fight.

"Almost every team has been able to win races or has won races, and we have seen some drama on track.

"Austria comes to my mind where we were leading one and two and then Max won his Red Bull home Grand Prix. Insofar, this season has had all the ingredients, the drama and the glory."

- How much fun has it been to watch Valtteri and Lewis battle it out on track this season?

TW: "It is nice to see how they race each other on track because they have great respect among each other, the dynamics in the team is very positive.

"That translates into a positive working environment and that makes the car faster. When they were racing each other, it was with the utmost respect and albeit spectacular."

"I think that both drivers have had very good races. We have seen a spectacular Baku from Valtteri that he should've won and didn't because he had the puncture that was not his problem.

"But, it is clear that our car this year is very fast but not always easy to drive and both drivers have shown great ability in putting the car where they needed it to be."

- What are your expectations for Spa and Monza?

TW: "Spa and Monza are outliers in the circuit... We don't like slow tracks, but these two fast tracks are on the other end of the spectrum. Spa was difficult for us in the past years and Monza was a great track. But, this season everything has changed.

"There is no clear favourite on any of the tracks. Spa looks like it is going to be raining all through the weekend with very cold temperatures and then Monza as I said before is high-speed and Ferrari has had an extremely powerful engine in the last few races. Insofar, I wouldn't want to predict how it is going to go for us."

- What is the focus for upcoming races?

TW: "These are two races that should suit us a little bit more than, for example, Singapore. So, we hope to collect some valuable points that we will try to hold onto till the end of the season."

- You're a very self-critical person. What have you personally been focusing on over the holidays?

TW: "I spent some good times with my family, I went for the odd swim and that's it basically."

- Is there anything that you wish you had done better in the first half that you're going to be working on in the second half of the season?

TW: "Yeah, every evening I come home, look at myself in the mirror and I think about where I could have improved today. You see that this season, some of our competitors have set very high standards.

"We have had reliability problems, which we shouldn't have had, and this is something we need to get on top of towards the end of the season. Each of us within the team will know where he could've contributed or added in order for these things not to happen."

- Unfortunately, Niki won't be sitting next to you in the garage this weekend. What will you miss most about him not being there with you?

TW: "Well, for me this is a real blow not having him around us. He's become my friend, sparring partner and somebody that I spend a tremendous amount of time with.

"Formula One is a very intense business and what you need is a safe environment in the evenings, and with us almost the last three or four years it was clear that we would have a just the two of us dinner and a discussion about what happened during the day.

"Discussions about our private lives, airplanes, cars, engines and racing cars... he will be dearly missed from all of us. But, I need to come up with a plan what I will do with my empty evenings now."