Toto Wolff says Mercedes could smell victory last Sunday, but it simply wasn’t enough to win. The Austrian team boss honestly admits that Red Bull Racing deserved the victory.
Although the United States Grand Prix went fairly smoothly, and there wasn’t much action to see, it was exciting right up to the end. The battle between Verstappen and Hamilton was only decided in the last lap. “This was really a race with interesting strategy games and great fights,” Wolff said after the Grand Prix. “We thought we could smell the win with Lewis. He put in a brilliant attack in the last laps, but in the end it wasn’t enough.”
“In the first stint the car wasn’t fast enough on the medium tyre. Then Red Bull went for an aggressive first stop before doing that a second time. We thought our strategy of driving longer would be enough at the end to to get hold of,” emphasizes the Austrian. “But the moment you get within easy reach of the vehicle in front it becomes very difficult to do anything. In the end we were close but not close enough, so Red Bull deserved to win today.”
“Valtteri also struggled with overtaking and getting through the field,” the team boss continues. “But we used the longer stints to make up some places. He put a lot of pressure on Sainz on the penultimate lap, to finish in sixth. It’s not the weekend we had hoped for, but we know there are still a lot of opportunities. We’re still in the middle of the fight and we’re enjoying the fight, so let’s see what’s next [race ons] brings,” said Wolff.