Monday, 13 november 2017, 04:46
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has praised Lewis Hamilton after his heroics at the Brazilian Grand Prix, calling his drive 'the best fourth place I've ever seen.'
Hamilton was forced to begin the race from the pitlane after spinning out in qualification and his team performing some running repairs to his vehicle on Saturday evening.
But the introduction of the safety car brought Hamilton back into contention and he proceeded to tear through the grid, making up 10 places in eight laps before ultimately finishing in fourth spot, just 5.4 seconds behind winner Sebastian Vettel.
Speaking to the media after the race, Wolff could not contain his appreciation for Hamilton's performance, and even suggested that, at one point, he thought the world champion could actually win the race.
Wolff said: "I think a win would have been possible.
"He was the quickest guy out there. But you must remember that Sebastian was managing the pace at every time of the race, apart from the last laps. So we haven't probably seen the real race.
"For me it was the best fourth place I've ever seen. If you consider starting from the pitlane and ending up 5.4 seconds behind the leader, it is quite an astonishing drive."
Wolff also added, though, that in a team meeting to discuss strategy pre-race, the team had identified fourth as the best-case scenario if events fell in Mercedes' favour.
He added: "When we discussed it in the morning, we thought that what would be a realistic target with a safety car would be P4.
"We had the safety car so that helped us a little bit. But the gap to Ferrari was too close to have achieved much more."