Toto Wolff ‘under no illusion’ how Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen title fight could end

Verstappen holds a slim lead in the standings, while Mercedes sit top of the constructors

Karl Matchett
Friday 15 October 2021 10:30
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The title fight for the 2021 season in Formula One is set to go to the wire, says Toto Wolff, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen going head-to-head and changing top spot in the standings on a regular basis of late.

Mercedes’ team principal is happy with how his side is currently faring, with Valtteri Bottas taking the win in the Turkish Grand Prix last time out - but second and third on the podium going to Red Bull pair Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Even though Hamilton climbed from his mid-grid start to finish fifth, Verstappen jumped above him and holds a six-point advantage with six races to go and Wolff stopped short of saying Mercedes’ speed advantage of late, something which surprised his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner, puts them in the driving seat for the final stretch of the campaign.

“I don’t think you can say that with absolute conviction,” Wolff said. “I believe we have a really good package now.

“The car is competitive and was very competitive [in Turkey] and if it wasn’t for a grid penalty I think we would have had every chance to finish first and second.

“That would have meant eight points more but I’m looking carefully optimistic into the future.”

The drivers now head to the USA for their next race and Mercedes are again hoping for a positive outcome - but regardless of how they fare, Wolff expects the matter of the title fight to not be resolved until the final round in Abu Dhabi.

“Austin [for the United States Grand Prix] is a track we like and is another opportunity but I’m under no illusion this is very much going to go to the end in the drivers’ championship.”

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