Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says they will keep their “foot on the throttle” to win the 2019 Formula 1 championship, with the title in sight with just five races remaining on the calendar.
Since the summer break, Ferrari have took the most wins, and the plaudits, after claiming victories in Belgium, Italy, and Singapore. Mercedes bounced back with a win in Russia through Lewis Hamilton, and Wolff wants to use that to catalyse a run of form which will take them to the constructors’ championship.
“Claiming a 1-2 in Sochi after three races without a win was a great feeling,” Wolff said when previewing this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“We delivered a strong race in Russia, made the most of our opportunities and both Lewis and Valtteri drove flawlessly.
“We brought home 44 points, built the gap in both championships and are highly motivated to keep our foot on the throttle for the remaining five races.
“The win in Sochi doesn’t change the fact that Ferrari had a stronger start to the second part of the season than we did.
“We’ll bring some minor upgrades to the car in Japan which will hopefully help us take a step in the right direction.
“However, we know that we need to extract absolutely everything from our car and the tyres if we want to be able to challenge for a win.”
In the V6 hybrid engine era, Mercedes have won every single race at Suzuka, but Wolff doesn’t believe any victory this weekend will be as routine as it has been in previous seasons.
“We have a strong track record there, having won every Japanese Grand Prix in the hybrid era, but we expect this year to be challenging given the strength of our opponents,” the Austrian admitted.
“It will be a very close battle on track – and one that we very much look forward to. Our targets for the final quarter of the season is clear and it’s up to us to make sure we achieve them.”