Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2018

Hamilton has been a “new Lewis” since winning drivers’ title – Wolff

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton’s team principal Toto Wolff says his driver become stronger since winning this year’s championship.

The five-times world champion won both races after clinching the title, helping Mercedes to secure the constructors’ championship. “He’s actually driven stronger after winning the drivers’ title,” said Wolff.

“I feel he’s just so embedded in the team and integrated that the drivers’ title felt incomplete, which for a driver is really strange because they are calibrated on the drivers’ title. But he said it felt incomplete and that we needed to seal the teams’ title.

“When you look at his face, that was almost more relief and happiness about sealing the constructors’ title than the first one, and that’s why he just didn’t take his foot off the throttle until the very end, and that is somehow a new Lewis also.”

Hamilton’s season-ending win in Abu Dhabi was won thanks to a bold strategy which took advantage of an early Virtual Safety Car period to make his only pit stop of the race.

“We knew that the super-soft [tyre] could go to the end,” explained Wolff. “It could actually cover a whole race distance. We wanted to cover against an undercut or no VSC or Safety Car in the race later on [where] we would have lost a position. Knowing the tyre can go to the end with a little bit of management, it was the safer strategy.”

Hamilton admitted he had some misgivings about pitting so early. “My engineers always talk about stopping super early,” he explained. “They’re way too chilled behind the wall.

“I was like ‘yeah, I’ve got a long way to and this doesn’t feel too good right now’. But it lasted long, once again they were calculated and correct and that’s why we have to put so much trust in those guys.”

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5 comments on “Hamilton has been a “new Lewis” since winning drivers’ title – Wolff”

  1. Looks like he has learned his lesson from past seasons. In the early parts of 2016 and 2018, he wasn’t at his best, and I wonder if giving up some momentum at the end of the previous seasons was a part in that.

  2. I’n what some would call a Hamilton fan boy but I think it’s quite clear that he’s matured as a person and a driver and that he’s refined every aspect of his talent. F1 fans are fortunate to be witnessing one of the handful of elite drivers in racing history at his absolute peak.

    1. I meant that I’m not a Hamilton fan boy…

  3. In the past Mercedes had such an advantage that they could allow their ‘B’ driver to pick up the spoils.
    They did that in past years with Rosberg, and last year with Bottas.

    This year the competition has been so much stronger that they could not ‘gift’ a win to the other driver.
    If there was any posibility of Bottas getting a late win Mercedes would have engineered it.

    Its a shame, because Bottas only needed 5 points to secure that 3rd place in the championship.

  4. This has to stop… they’re somehow making me puke even more on this guy… Toto’s hyping of Lewis is reaching new heights weekly… It’s obnoxious

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