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Toto: Pleased with P2 but Mount Everest to Climb

Toto says the team can look forward after finishing P2 in the Constructors’ Championship but admits we still have Mount Everest to climb in order to close the gap to Red Bull.

After a tense battle in Abu Dhabi, where George finished third and Lewis ninth, we edged Ferrari in the Constructors’ table to end the season on a high.

George’s podium, after keeping in touching distance with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and within the five-second gap to Red Bull’s Checo Perez, coupled with Lewis’ valuable P9 while suffering brake issues ensured we pipped the Scuderia by three points.

“There is the Mount Everest to climb in order to catch up with the Red Bull,” Toto said after the race.

He added: "I think us assessing it in an honest way that this car is never going to be good enough to fight for a Championship, we've taken the decision in spring that we've got to, that we're going to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new next year.”

Praise for Competitors

Toto also praised Ferrari for their performance in Abu Dhabi and for Leclerc’s conduct in the contest for P2.

With Leclerc needing to hold up George in the closing stages to allow Perez to neutralise a five-second penalty from earlier in the race, the Monegasque driver showed commendable spirit in not backing us up.

“The fight with Ferrari is a formidable fight between these two great brands, a team that we respect a lot and Charles [Leclerc] drove like a real sportsman at the end,” Toto said.

He added: “At the end he could have pulled the handbrake on in the last sector and he didn't. And I think that shows the character of a driver.”

With post-season testing in Abu Dhabi over, our attention now turns to the development of the W15 and a winter of hard work ahead.

“We're changing the concept,” Toto added.

“We are completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow.

“I mean, literally there's almost every component that's being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance.

“We could get it wrong also. So between not gaining what we expect to catching up and making a big step and competing at the front, everything is possible.”

We're changing the concept