Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, expressed his unwavering commitment to challenging Max Verstappen for victory rather than opting for a conservative car setup. In a surprising turn of events at the United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton secured a second-place finish on the track. However, he was subsequently disqualified due to a minor technical infringement.

Toto Wolff Supports Austin’s Strategy Despite Disqualification

Toto Wolff firmly supported his team’s strategic choices in Austin. He stated that he would accept Hamilton’s disqualification “any day of the week.” Despite the unfortunate end to Hamilton’s race after chasing Verstappen for the win, Wolff stressed that the disqualification was a risk they were willing to take. It marked only the second time Hamilton had been disqualified in his impressive career. “I would accept the disqualification because we made a mistake,” Wolff told Sky Sports. “A disqualification when racing for a win and considering the improved performance of the upgraded W14 compared to finishing third and being 25 seconds behind. So, I’d accept the disqualification any day of the week.”

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The disqualifications of both Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton raised questions about other teams possibly breaking the same rule. The FIA doesn’t inspect every car due to time constraints. As a result, race results might not be confirmed until the Monday following the race. When talking to teams and drivers in the paddock, Wolff suggested that many other teams might have also exceeded the wear limit. “That’s the feedback we got from the other teams,” he mentioned, highlighting that even slight deviations from the rules could result in significant performance improvements in ground-effect cars.

Lewis Hamilton Ready to Move Forward

Lewis Hamilton, despite his disqualification, stays focused on the bigger picture. He believes that securing second place in the driver’s championship isn’t a top priority. Instead, he emphasizes that their primary goal is to secure second place in the constructor’s championship. Hamilton acknowledged that the changes made to the W14 in Austin gave him confidence in his performance. In Austin, Mercedes introduced a new floor for the W14. The goal was to narrow the points gap to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the driver’s championship. However, the disqualification means that the margin has increased to 39 points.

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When asked about the possibility of catching up to Perez’s second place, Hamilton expressed a realistic outlook. “I think it’s unlikely, but we’ll give it our best shot,” he said, recognizing that his primary objective is to secure second place in the constructor’s championship. Although the disqualification was a setback, Hamilton gleaned valuable insights from the Austin race. He was particularly pleased with the enhanced performance and speed of the car. Mercedes’ bold strategy and commitment to pushing the limits have rejuvenated their competitive spirit, despite the disqualification in Austin. As the championship races intensify, the team is determined to bounce back. They aim to secure a strong finish in both the driver’s and constructor’s championships.