Mercedes Boss Toto Wolff reviews Lewis Hamilton’s Free Practice results – believing he places far above the rest of the pack.
It’s no secret that Lewis Hamilton has been a dominant force in the world of Formula One racing for some time. For the last several years, Hamilton has absolutely dominated the upper echelons of the sport. It was only until last year that his winning streak was interrupted and the back-to-back champion deposed as Nico Rosberg took the win for Mercedes, the real pivot point of the 2016 Championship defined by an engine failure in Malaysia. With Rosberg’s shock retirement however, came the opening up of a seat in the Silver Arrow team and the arrival of Valtteri Bottas.
Now, Hamilton finds himself as one of the most experienced driver for what is arguably the most powerful team in Formula 1 – and his recent practice tests show that he is on top form as ever. While Hamilton himself was very positive about his performance during the first practice at Melbourne, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also saw the performance as something worth celebrating:
“He [Lewis Hamilton] is really in a league of his own at the moment.
The one-lap pace was really good, and the long runs stable. He took the ultra-softs to, how many laps was it? 15, 16, 17, something like that. It was stable, I’m happy.
He had a very good day overall.” – Toto Wolff
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 24, 2017
It’s still too early call anything – what with the season not officially started and all – but if Hamilton’s results are anything to go off of, Mercedes could very well find itself lording over the rest of the competition once more. Even with the somewhat stacked deck that is the new regulations, the sport could in for another Hamilton-led race to the finish.
While many will look at Hamilton as a shoe-in for the championship, the Brit himself is still ever-cautious of the impeding threat that is Ferrari:
“Coming into today, we really didn’t know where we’d be. We knew from FP1 that the Ferraris weren’t at their maximum. Of course, in FP2 all of a sudden they were quick. We’ll see tomorrow how it really stands.” – Lewis Hamilton
With a half-a-second gap to the rest of the field in FP2, it is now down to the chasing Ferrari’s and Valtteri Bottas to give us a show this weekend, otherwise it will be another interesting battle for second as we forget about the #44 car speeding off into the distance.