Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has given an insight as to why he believes his team have become one of the most successful Formula One teams on the grid alongside Lewis Hamilton.
The British-based German outfit have dominated the past seven years of F1’s current hybrid era, and since 2014 have won back-to-back Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships. Six alone came from Hamilton, with his then team-mate Nico Rosberg clinching the 2016 title.
Now, with their sights firmly set on a record-breaking eighth title with Hamilton, Wolff believes there are certain traits within the team that have helped carry them to where they are today.
“The most important is to stay humble and be able to really have a mindset of being able to criticise yourself,” said Wolff, speaking at confirmation of Mercedes’ involvement in INEOS Britannia’s latest America’s Cup bid.
“When you listen to one of our debriefs on a Monday morning after a race we have been lucky enough to win, it doesn’t sound like a team that has won.
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“We are always sceptical about our own achievement, and we all suffer in a way from an imposter syndrome – that people must have been really good in this team to have made us win because I don’t really know what my contribution was.
“That goes all through the organisation. Everybody feels that, even the most highly skilled engineers.
“That keeps us grounded. Every year we see ourselves, not as the one to beat but in a way there is this challenger mentality.
“We set expectations in the right way and we feel zero sense of entitlement.”
Hamilton is currently embroiled in a fierce battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with just two points separating the pair heading into round 16 in Turkey.
The championship however could take a new twist as Mercedes are yet to decide if Hamilton will take a new engine at Istanbul, which would relegate the seven-time world champion to the back of the grid.
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But the Brackley-based team are in high spirits, says Wolff, especially after Hamilton picked up his 100th Formula One career win at Sochi.
“There’s been a brilliant buzz in the team over the last week or so,” began Wolff. “Being back on the top step of the podium was an incredible feeling for all of us, and particularly after such a dramatic race weekend.
“It was obviously made even more special by being Lewis’ 100th race win in Formula One.
“In the moment, milestones like this are exceptional, but I think it will take time for us to all realise just how remarkable this period of time is, and how privileged we all are to be part of this journey with him.
“The final moments of the last race in Russia proved that anything can happen in F1 and fortunes can change in the blink of an eye.
“This season is keeping all of us on our toes and that’s something we’re enjoying immensely, but it also means we have to be aggressive with our approach to the season, in order to maximise the points available.
“That’s our focus for Turkey and beyond. I know Lewis, Valtteri [Bottas] and the entire team are fired up for the battle that lies ahead, and we look set for another exciting race this weekend at Istanbul Park, where there are still many unknowns for us because of the track surface and weather conditions in 2020.
“It’s an exciting track layout and a good one for racing, so I think we’ll be in for another spectacular twist in this brilliant F1 season.”
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