Mercedes has focused on 'painful' moments
25 September 2017 – Toto Wolff says Mercedes has focused on the "painful" moments of the Singapore Grand Prix in a bid to boost its prospects over the remainder of the season.
Mercedes again struggled relative to Ferrari and Red Bull in dry conditions at Marina Bay, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas qualifying only fifth and sixth respectively.
However, in a wet/dry race, Hamilton capitalised on a start-line collision involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen and Max Verstappen to take an unexpected victory.
As a result, Hamilton moved 28 points clear of title rival Vettel, while Mercedes, with a 1-3 result, is now 102 ahead of Ferrari, following the latter's double retirement.
But instead of celebrating its increased advantage, Wolff has explained that Mercedes spent the break between races understanding where it can improve further.
"The result in Singapore came as a surprise for us all, and the danger of a result like that is to misjudge your own level of performance," said Wolff.
"But within the team, our focus since finishing first and third has been on the painful moments of the Singapore weekend – why we struggled in the long runs on Friday and our lack of performance over one lap in qualifying – to learn as much as possible for the rest of the season.
"We have deepened our understanding of those problems and we will take that learning with us into the final races.
"The last race was a strong reminder that sport always has the power to surprise and defy all predictions.
"We have been on the receiving end of those bad moments before, and we know that they can happen as easily to us as anybody else.
"The result in Singapore doesn't change anything in terms of how we approach the final six races, beginning this weekend in Malaysia.
"We will need to be at the top of our game on every track if we want to maintain our lead in both championships to the end of the season."
Wolff is nonetheless optimistic that Mercedes will be back up front in normal conditions at Sepang, which will host the final Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.
Mercedes has taken only one works-team victory at the track, courtesy of Lewis Hamilton in 2014, though he was also on course to win last season before a late engine failure.
"Our record there in recent seasons has been mixed," added Wolff.
"But the fundamental characteristics of the circuit, with its sweeping corners and long straights, should mean the car is well-suited to the circuit.
"The weather conditions are challenging for the cars, the tyres, the drivers and the team personnel and can often complicate the overall picture; good reliability will be crucial in every aspect of our operations.
"But it goes without saying that our target is to deliver a winning performance to mark the final Grand Prix at Sepang, and to build on the good momentum we have enjoyed since the summer break."