Wolff: Hamilton showed his mental strength
7 July 2014 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the way Lewis Hamilton bounced back to win the British Grand Prix and put his 'bad call' in qualifying behind him shows his 'mental strength'.
Hamilton had set the pace on the opening Q3 runs, but made a grave mistake when he chose to abandon his second attempt, as the track improved in the final sector and he was leapfrogged by five drivers – including his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, who took pole position.
But despite starting sixth, Hamilton came back strong in the race and was closing on Rosberg when the German suffered a terminal gearbox problem on Lap 29.
Hamilton went on to comfortably win, taking his fifth victory of the year and giving Mercedes its eighth triumph from nine attempts in 2014.
"Lewis drove a faultless race," said Wolff. "He made up positions at the start and in the opening laps after the restart, then it was shaping up to be a big battle until Nico started to suffer the gearbox problems.
"But what I want to praise most of all is Lewis' approach today. He had a bad qualifying session but he arrived at the circuit this morning in such a positive frame of mind and determined to perform - and he did that for his home fans. It was a great performance that showed his mental strength."
Wolff added that he was impressed with the way Rosberg handled his first DNF of the season, something that allowed Hamilton to slash the German's lead in the Drivers' Championship from 29 points to four.
"Nico was doing a great job leading the race and handled his retirement like the professional he is: he understands that this is part of motor racing and that we still have a long way to go this year," Wolff noted after race nine of 19.