Wolff preaches consistency over speed after Hamilton steals Leclerc's win
Toto Wolff spoke of the need to balance both performance and reliability to win following their one-two finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, won in fortuitous circumstances as the dominant Charles Leclerc was robbed of his maiden Formula 1 victory by a mechanical failure.
Mercedes had looked out-classed this weekend, with Ferrari finishing first in every practice session and taking a one-two in qualifying.
This dominance quickly fell away in the race, however, as Sebastian Vettel spun and fell to fifth whilst battling with eventual race-winner Lewis Hamilton, who eased past a stricken Leclerc to seal victory in the closing stages.
Commenting on the result to Sky Sports, Wolff said: “This is a long championship and always you have to balance performance and reliability, and there is the fortune factor and Charles was very unfortunate today.
“He was the quickest, or the quickest guy and they should have won the race, but then things went in the other direction.”
Bahrain is a notoriously hot race, and one where cooling has previously caused issues. This isn’t something that Wolff thinks affected Leclerc though.
“I’m not sure it’s cooling because they would have warned him here,” he added.
“There is an eight, nine, second gap and Lewis was starting to catch up a little bit, but they would have managed it, I think it’s something that they didn’t see coming, but I don’t know.”
Turning his attention to Hamilton’s battle with Vettel, Wolff said it was similar scenario to last year’s Italian Grand Prix. There, like in Bahrain, it was consistency that won over one-lap pace, he said: “It was a similar incident again, spinning out.
“I think this is our strength, and it’s also not about one single lap performance or the speed, it’s about holding it together, even cruising home with a third and fourth – it might make a difference, it might win you the championship.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.