Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the lead of the F1 drivers’ championship by scoring his 100th grand prix victory in Russia on Sunday, beating Lando Norris after a late downpour and a well-timed change to intermediate tyres.
Title rival Max Verstappen recovered from an engine penalty that left him final on the grid to complete second, making certain Hamilton’s championship lead solely stands at two factors.
Mercedes was in a position to lengthen its benefit within the constructors’ championship after Valtteri Bottas rose to fifth within the closing levels, giving the group a 33-point buffer over Purple Bull.
Hamilton known as Verstappen’s restoration to second place a “dream consequence” for the Purple Bull driver, having seen an opportunity to tug out an even bigger lead go by.
Mercedes F1 boss Wolff accepted there have been some “unfastened ends” to tie up from the final couple of race weekends, however mentioned the group couldn’t be defensive in its battle with Purple Bull.
“In a method, we’re not maximising our factors scoring, and the identical at the moment,” Wolff mentioned after the race.
“I feel quali was all decisive. Valtteri going again [after an engine penalty] we knew was troublesome, and we ended up with a primary and fifth, and that is superb, little doubt about that, and it is Lewis’s one centesimal victory.
“However Max recovered in a spectacular kind, and that isn’t good for the championship.
“So in a nutshell, we simply have to proceed to be actually aggressive in how we method this season, not be defensive, however simply transfer ahead, as a way to rating these massive factors.
“As a result of neither us nor the others are actually good in maximising the factors in the mean time.”
Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing, 2nd place, and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st place, have fun on the rostrum with Champagne
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Neither Mercedes nor Purple Bull has managed to report a 1-2 end to this point this 12 months. The one group to have achieved the feat is McLaren, which scored most factors within the Monza race.
Monza and Sochi had sometimes been two of Mercedes’ greatest circuits, however Wolff mentioned the tweaked rules for 2021 meant it was not doable to belief the historic kind information.
“I finished attempting to anticipate whether or not it is traditionally a robust race for us, as a result of all the pieces with the brand new rules, all the pieces adjustments, so has modified a lot,” Wolff mentioned.
“Undoubtedly, we knew that Monza and Sochi can be coming extra in direction of us. And the fact is we’re the place we’re, and that is the factors hole and I doubt that any of the 2 groups will make large swings up or down.
“It is nearly, actually, to proceed to do the very best job.”