Toto Wolff says “exceptional Lewis performances” are now “his standard”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff talks about the standard Lewis Hamilton has “set for himself” and discusses his title rivalry with Max Verstappen.

At the Portuguese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton put in another amazing performance to take his 97th victory. Team boss Toto Wolff says these types of performances are now the norm.

“I think we had a good car, [it was] first time we were really able to compete for pole,” the Austrian said after the race.

“Maybe we were a tenth off. A good race car, but again, also very close to the Red Bulls, and he just drove an immaculate race.

“It makes no sense to talk about these exceptional Lewis performances, because they have been quite regular.

“It’s his standard now, and I think he sets that standard to himself.”

Hamilton and Verstappen had a close battle on two occasion in the race, first when Max passed Lewis in the opening stages of the race, and then again when Lewis regained his position on Lap 11.

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Both overtakes were free of any incidents, and Wolff says the two drivers have so far behaved respectfully.

“I think they are not crossing the line on the track yet, because the risk of losing points is just too big. But it’s going to go head-to-head, and certainly the rivalry may increase or not.

“I see Lewis completely relaxed about the situation. He enjoys every bit working with the team and getting us up to speed because we weren’t there. It’s just a fun place.”

With P1 and P3 in the bag, Mercedes is once again on top of both the drivers’ and the constructors’ championship standings. Toto says he wouldn’t have thought this was possible after his team’s troubled pre-season testing.

“No, I wouldn’t have believed that, because I am so in a way reliant on probabilities and math. Based on these facts, I wouldn’t have expected to be on pole twice and winning two races.

“That was not what my brain would have told me,” concluded Wolff.

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